Occupational Therapy (OT) is an evidence-based practice that is deeply rooted in science. Practitioners use a holistic approach wherein the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the individual through sensory integration.
Sensory Integration (SI) is the process by which we receive information through our senses, organize the information and use it to participate in everyday activities. SI involves many neuro-motor systems working together, when sensory receptors receive information from the body and take those messages through the brain stem cortex and back, with instructions on how the body should respond.
When children fail to get the early nurturing needed for proper development or have a stressful pre-birth or early life experiences, their sensory and motor systems are often under-developed, immature, or “wired” wrong. This can cause glitches in the “sensory-response loop”. Dysfunctional or immature motor, emotional & behavioral skills and dysregulation are the results. Challenges can occur with any sensory system and any part of the “sensory loop”.
Trauma can heighten sensory awareness, making it difficult to make sense of the messages received & respond appropriately to the world. For children of trauma, pairing OT with Trauma Focused Cognitive Therapy
or other mental health interventions can lead to significant improvements in emotional regulation and behavior.
While it may be a long process, the body can “change the score” and “re-wiring” is possible.
For All: There is frequent frustration with these tasks beyond what is age appropriate.