Pediatric occupational therapy works on helping children develop the skills they need to reach their full potential as they grow and mature. Physical impairments, developmental delays, injuries and other issues can negatively affect a child’s ability to perform everyday tasks and evolve through successive stages of social, cognitive, emotional and motor development. The longer a child goes without learning these skills, the more the problem compounds as the child ages which makes the skills of a pediatric occupational therapist very important to their patients.
Sensory Integration is the organization of sensation for use. Our senses give us information about the physical conditions of our body and the environment around us. Sensations flow into the brain like streams flowing into a lake. Countless bits of sensory information enter our brain at every moment, not only from our eyes and ears but from every place in our body. (Sensory Integration and the Child, A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D.)
Sensory integration dysfunction involves difficulty in processing or organizing the flow of sensory input that gives us information about our bodies and the world. When sensory information is confusing, overwhelming or distorted, we are likely to have problems paying attention, learning, planning, and doing skilled tasks. When sensory processing is working well, we are completely unaware of it. Thus, when things go awry, there is little awareness or understanding of these difficulties. This often makes sensory integration dysfunction a hidden problem for those who face it, and for those trying to help them.
There are many “symptoms” of sensory integration dysfunction. Poor attention span, difficulty learning certain subjects at school, messy handwriting, trouble following directions, inability to sit still through a lesson or a meal, poor coordination in sports, inability to make and keep friends and low self-esteem can frequently accompany sensory integration problems. Of course, sensory integration difficulties are not the only reason children can experience these problems. But if sensory integration dysfunction is the problem, intervention is available that can address the important underlying functions needed to support improvement in these areas.
In a positive and fun environment, occupational therapists help children with various needs to improve any or all of the following skills:
Families pay Pediatric Therapy Solutions directly for services rendered. Insurance companies may reimburse for occupational therapy services; this occurs on a case by case basis at your insurance company's discretion. Please call Pediatric Therapy Solutions for more details and information.