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Friday, September 30, 2016

Part Four: Tips for Parents and Teachers Working with Children with Sensory Processing Disorders or Children on the Autism Spectrum by Guest Blogger Elise Siak

Tricks and Tips for Parents and Teachers

by Elise Siak, Occupational Therapist

Again because sensory processing disorder is complex and the challenges associated with it are unique to the individual, it is difficult to provide strategies which can help any and all children with sensory processing disorder. There are, however, some strategies that tend to work well for most children with sensory processing disorder and sensory processing challenges. See last week’s post for more information on the proprioceptive and vestibular systems, as these systems are very important to understand in order to fully grasp the rest of the information in this post.

Classroom-Based Sensory Strategies

The classroom environment can pose a unique set of challenges for children with a sensory processing disorder or sensory processing challenge. 

Think about the variety of situations during a typical school day which involve a notable lack of enriching sensory input like sitting at a desk for long periods of time, riding the bus, standing in line, and fire drills. 

Boredom in School

Lack of Sensory Input During School

Then think about the variety of situations during a typical school day which involve an overload of stimulation over which children have no control like the ringing of the school bell, loud and crowded hallways, or the glare of overhead lights.

Too Much Noise   
    Noise Overload                  Sensory overload from crowded Hallway

Because some children with sensory processing disorder can be sensitive to too much of any one type of sensory input or require increased amounts of any one type of sensory input, pinpointing specific strategies to help with classroom challenges is tough. However, as a rule of thumb, you should keep in mind that whether a child wants more or less input, they will find a way to either limit or get more input.

Children who want more input will find a way to get that input one way or another--jumping, spinning, and running, wriggling in their chairs to the point of being disruptive, or even pushing other children when standing in line.

Distrupting the Classroom

Children who need to limit sensory input  may attempt to run away at the sound of the school bell, cover their ears, yell, or other similar behaviors in order to avoid the overload of stimulation.

Finding an effective way to channel a child’s natural sensory needs into more constructive means is the best way to have a happy child and a better functioning classroom!

Some strategies that can be used include a variety of ways to provide proprioceptive input, as well as other types of input, and include the following:

  • Weighted lap pad
  • Wiggle cushion or therapy ball chair
  •  Use of a resistance band tied around the front legs of a classroom chair so that the child can kick it back and forth with their legs while seated

Theraband in Classroom

Stretchy Hulk Sensory Toy

Stretchy Hulk Sensory Toy

Squishy Tactile Nemo Toy

Nemo Squishy Tactile Toy

  •  Calm-down bottles with glitter and food coloring for use in a calm down corner or before nap time  

    Calm Down Bottle

  • A piece of the rough side of Velcro that can be placed under the desk and rubbed when extra sensory input is needed
Velcro on desk at school

  • Chewy tubes/fidgets which attach to the end of a pencil
  • Water bottle which requires forceful sucking or has a bite valve (like a camelback water bottle)
  •  Regular breaks in seated work including chair push-ups, wall push-ups, jumping jacks, toe touches, etc. (This type of break would be beneficial for all students!)

Wall Push Up

Chair Push Up

Home-Based Sensory Strategies

Because home is naturally a less structured environment than school, the possibilities are nearly endless for ways to work sensory input into a child’s experiences! See the previous post for some specific strategies related to the proprioceptive and vestibular systems. Some fun ideas for novel sensory experiences at home include:

Quiet Tent

Quiet Corner

  • Tactile sensory play which can include sand and water play, finger painting, playing with cornstarch and water mixed together (side note: if you’ve never tried this, you must! It is so much fun!), playing with silly putty or play dough

Sand and Water Play

Sand and Water Table

  • Making a stress ball/fidget toy out of two balloons and flour- place one balloon inside of the other, fill the inner balloon with flour, tie off both balloons, and voila!
  •  Making a calm-down bottle with an empty water bottle, clear soap, food coloring, and glitter
  • Straw games, including blowing a pompom with a straw either straight ahead or through a maze made of blocks
  • Use of a weighted blanket, weighted vest, or compression clothing--please consult with an occupational therapist or other healthcare professional with knowledge of sensory processing before beginning any sort of weighted material use with your child
  • Scooter board games, including using hands only to move it forward while lying on the stomach
  • Pop-up tunnels and/or fabric tunnels--for increased proprioceptive input
Monkey Tunnel

  •  Body sock (similar to a fabric tunnel, but smaller and closed off on one side) provides proprioceptive input across the majority of the body
  • Climbing activities, including climbing a rock wall, playground equipment, stairs etc.
Climbing Wall at Home

Again, while each child with sensory processing disorder is unique in their specific challenges, hopefully these strategies will help to provide a starting point for better understanding your child (or student) and helping them to be more confident, focused, and happy in their day-to-day lives! If you suspect that your child has sensory processing disorder or sensory processing challenges, you should consult with your child’s pediatrician and an occupational therapist in order to most effectively help in understanding and assisting your child to live up to their full potential!

Guest Blogger Elise Siak:

I have always been interested in working in pediatrics, even before discovering occupational therapy. Since discovering OT, I have thrived on the creativity and connections with clients with which this profession provides me. I have passion for working with children with sensory processing and self-regulation challenges. I have experience working with both children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as children with a variety of developmental challenges and delays. I hope to be able to provide both parents and other therapists alike with some insight into sensory processing disorders!

This Concludes our Series on Sensory Processing Disorders.  Hopefully this information has been helpful.  We welcome your comments and suggestions!

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2016 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Part Three: Strategies for Treating a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder

Guest Blog by Elise Siak, Occupational Therapist

Because Sensory Processing Disorder is complex and the challenges associated with it are unique to the individual, it is difficult to provide strategies which can help any and all children with a sensory processing disorder. However, because of the way the sensory systems are organized and the way the input is processed within the brain, there are a few strategies that tend to work to improve sensory processing in most children! Before we get to the strategies, a short overview of the sensory systems and sensory integration is necessary.

The Sensory Systems
We all know the basic 5 senses we’ve been taught in school: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. However, sensory information is a bit more complicated than that! There are 2 other systems which are integral to sensory processing and which are a bit more complex than the basic 5 senses.

  The Vestibular System: This system helps us understand the position of our heads in space and any movement that may be occurring. Within the inner ear are small compartments, some of which contain small hair-like receptors and some which contain fluid. The compartments which contain the hair-like receptors help to communicate to our brains how our head is positioned in space based on gravity acting on these receptors and pushing them in one direction or another. The compartments which contain the fluid help to communicate to the brain the direction and speed of movements of the head, and therefore the body. All of this input together helps us to understand where we are located in space and if we’re moving or not. This system is highly sensitive but is often not part of our conscious awareness unless we are engaged in intense vestibular input like that which would be experienced on a rollercoaster or when spinning repeatedly.

 The Proprioceptive System: This system helps us to understand the position of our joints/limbs in space and the amount of force needed in order to complete a task appropriately (think an appropriate "high five" versus a "high five" that’s too hard). Within our muscles and joints are small receptors called proprioceptors which send our brain information about our position, movement, and the amount of force being used. This system, even more so than the vestibular system, is outside of our conscious awareness. However, imagine trying to button a shirt if you can’t understand how your hands need to move and the force they need to use in order to complete the task! Now think about tying something or buttoning something behind your back or with your eyes closed. Your proprioceptive system allows completing tasks like this to be possible. When the proprioceptive system is not functioning properly, movements become discoordinated, slower, and require increased effort to achieve the same result.

Sensory Integration
Sensory integration itself is widely misinterpreted and the phrase itself is often used incorrectly. Sensory integration is the process by which the brain brings together information from all of our sensory systems to make a cohesive picture about what it happening around us in order for us to respond effectively. 

Sensory Processing needed for sportsSensory Integration Necessary for SkatingImagine stepping onto an ice rink with ice skates on for the first time. Your eyes will be able to see the sheen of the ice, the tracks of others on the surface of the ice, and the proximity of others to yourself. Your ears will hear the sounds of others around you as well as the sound of the skates moving across the ice. Your vestibular and proprioceptive systems will work together to provide you with information about where you are in space, how you need to respond in order to keep yourself upright, and how much force needs to be exerted with your legs when skating across the ice. Imagine not being able to fully and effectively interpret some part of the information described above. Ice skating would be really hard! This is precisely why effective sensory integration is so important. Without a detailed and complete picture of the sensory input happening around oneself, formulating an effective and adaptive response to novel experiences is nearly impossible. This helps to explain why children with sensory integration challenges often demonstrate difficulty across a variety of skill sets, including fine motor, gross motor, and language skills. Playing, learning, and growing, the main jobs of childhood, become really difficult when you are only able to understand and use a portion of the sensory input your body is receiving!

Treatment Ideas
Again, because each and every child with sensory processing challenges is so unique, it is difficult to provide a “one size fits all” blueprint for how to help. However, some strategies tend to be effective for the majority of children with sensory processing challenges and a sensory processing disorder. The most important system to consider is the proprioceptive system. Think of it as the highway of all of the sensory systems. If there’s a traffic jam on the highway (the proprioceptive system), it affects traffic on all the surrounding roads (all of the other sensory systems). This is why the proprioceptive system is often targeted first when treating children with sensory processing disorder.

               Proprioceptive Strategies

               Strategies targeted at the proprioceptive system include any opportunities for deep pressure and/or weight bearing across the major joints.

Adding Deep Pressure as a strategy for Proprioceptive Input
Sensory Sandwish
Deep pressure strategies will always involve providing strong pressure across most of your child’s body, but be sure to leave their head out so they can breathe during the squeezing.

Strategies include:
-        making a “sandwich” between pillows/couch cushions by pushing along your child’s body with deep pressure
-        using a “steamroller” (large ball) to roll across your child’s body while they lay on a padded surface
-        bear hugs with deep and prolonged pressure across the torso
-        weighted materials including weighted blankets, lap pads, and vest; note that weighted materials should not be used for more than 20-30 minutes at a time with at least a 1-2 hour break between uses and that it is best to consult with a healthcare professional with knowledge of sensory processing (i.e. occupational therapist) prior to beginning any sort of weighted material use with your child

Sensory Strategies for Kids
Deep Pressure Strategy

Deep Pressure using a weighted blanket
Weighted Blanket

Weight bearing activities often involve moving from one place to another in a novel manner, including bearing weight on the arms.

Strategies include:
-        wheelbarrow walking

Wheelbarrow Walk

Crab Walk


Scooter Board Activities
-         various animal walks including crab walking, bear walking, and frog hopping

Tunnels and Tents
-        using a scooter board while lying on the stomach and using only the arms to pull along the ground in order to move

-        crawling through tunnels, forts, etc.; these activities can be made even more intense by including weighted materials while crawling

-        carrying heavy objects including grocery bags, laundry baskets, books, etc.

-        any activity which requires pushing or pulling like tug of war or climbing a rock wall or rope

Vestibular Strategies

Strategies targeted at the vestibular system will involve movement in one or more planes. Note that linear movement (back and forth or side to side) tends to be calming and rotary movement (in a circle) tends to be very alerting. It is not recommended that children spin for more than a minute at a time, as this type of input is incredibly complex and can require up to 3-4 hours for a child to fully process. 

Strategies include:
-        swinging on a playground swing or hammock
-        using a scooter board

Bouncing on a Therapy ball for sensory input
Bouncing on a Therapy Ball
Trampoline for Vestibular Input
Jumping on a Trampoline

-        jump rope
-    slides
-        jumping on a trampoline
-        bouncing on a large therapy ball with parent assistance to stabilize
-        bike riding

Guest Blogger Elise Siak:

I have always been interested in working in pediatrics, even before discovering occupational therapy. Since discovering OT, I have thrived on the creativity and connections with clients with which this profession provides me. I have passion for working with children with sensory processing and self-regulation challenges. I have experience working with both children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as children with a variety of developmental challenges and delays. I hope to be able to provide both parents and other therapists alike with some insight into sensory processing disorders!

Next week we will conclude our series on Sensory Processing Disorders with:

Part Four:  Parent Tips for Children with Sensory Processing Disorders or Children on the Autism Spectrum

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2016 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Friday, September 23, 2016

3 New Videos for Parents and Therapists

3 New DVDs are Now Available for Parents and Therapists of Young Children

Play should be educational as well as fun! Children learn about their bodies, about life, about their world, and how things work by playing.  Playing with your child can be one of the most rewarding and fruitful things you can do.  Trisha Roberts, Early Intervention Physical Therapist presents fun, practical activities for children birth to three years old that teach early gross motor skills.

Drawing from her many years of experience, she shows how to use common items around the house or inexpensive items purchased in department stores or dollar stores to enhance to development of young children.  The segments on these video demonstrate fun activities designed to improve strength, balance, posture, and to advance the gross motor skills of infants through three years old. Video DVDs or Downloads can be purchased at:

Here are 3 Video Preview Clips to enjoy:

                                             Innovative Inexpensive Ideas and Activities                                                                                                   (Specifically for Parents)

                                                             Practical Purposeful Play
                                                         (For Therapists and Parents)


                                                   Practical Purposeful Play--Part 2
                                                     (For Therapists and Parents)

Video DVDs or Downloads can be purchased at:

Author:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2016 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sensory Processing Disorder Part Two by Trisha Roberts

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Part Two:  How is a Sensory Processing Disorder Diagnosed?

A Checklist for Parents

by Trisha Roberts

It is important to seek professional help if a Sensory Processing Disorder is suspected.  Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and some Physical Therapists are trained in the area of Sensory Integration and will be able to evaluate your child and design a treatment plan. The following information is a guideline for helping parents decide whether they should seek additional help. Professionals can diagnose and determine in which category your child is struggling, how it is impacting their life and levels of performance.

A Sensory Processing Checklist for Parents

Symptoms of a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) may vary according to the disorder's type and SPD can affect one or more areas of function.  A true sensory processing disorder has a significant functional impact on the person's life. Each child is unique; they may not exhibit every characteristic and they may be inconsistent in displaying symptoms. This checklist is meant to help define and target a specific area to be investigated more thoroughly. You might want to request a detailed evaluation if your child has a large number of the symptoms on the following checklist that are impacting or interfering with their day-to-day performance.

  I.   Sensory Modulation Disorder refers to individuals who seek sensory stimulation due to an under or over response to sensory stimuli.

Signs of Over-Responsivity:

  • Distressed by textures of fabrics, foods, hair products, etc. to the point of interfering with normal function
  • Upset by the smell of perfume or cologne
  • Dislikes hair combing or brushing
  • Disturbed by clothes rubbing on skin; may want to wear shorts and short sleeves year-round, or only loose clothing
  • Pulls off diapers and clothes, prefers to be naked
  • Dislikes brushing teeth
  • Is aversive to face being washed
  • Overly distraught during diaper change
  • Eats only soft or pureed foods past 2 years of age
  • Gags with textured foods
  •  Avoids eye contact
  •  Experiences difficulty with sucking, chewing, and swallowing; may choke or have a fear of choking
  • Resists wearing new clothes or clothes with rough textures
  • Irritated by seams in socks and may refuse to wear them
  • Avoids crowds and noisy places (movie theater, athletic stadium, shopping mall, parades, concerts, etc.)
  • Experiences motion sickness that is unrelated to other medical causes
  • Irritated by household or cooking smells    
    Hypersensitive to Smell                      
    Irritated by Food Smells
  • Sensitive to movement; avoids swings, merry-go-rounds and slides. Gets dizzy or nauseated easily
  • Fearful or anxious of standing in close proximity to other people; may resist standing in lines
  • Dislikes kissing, cuddling or hugging; may “wipe off” kisses
  • Runs away, cries, or covers ears with loud or unexpected sounds
  • As an infant, did not like to be held or cuddled--arching away from parent and/or crying
  • Overreacts to minor cuts, scrapes, or bug bites
  • Walks on toes the majority of the time
  •  May get fearful, anxious or aggressive with light or unexpected touch
  • Feels seriously discomforted, sick or threatened by normal sounds, lights, movements, smells, or tastes
  • Distracted by sounds not normally noticed by others, often to the point of being unable to concentrate on any other activity; hum of refrigerators, heaters, fans, or clocks ticking
  • Prefers the dark; may cover or shade eyes with hand when in the light
  • Asks people to be quiet; stop making noise, humming, talking, or singing
  • May be a picky eater; avoids certain foods and may have a very limited diet 

Food Aversions
Aversion to Certain Foods and Textures
  • Does not like foods to be mixed
  • Sensitive to bright lights; will squint, cover eyes, cry and/or get headaches from the light
  • May avoid hot or cold foods
  • May refuse to play at someone's house because of the way it smells; decides whether they like someone or some place by the way it smells
  • Resists trying new foods
  • Avoids “messy” play (dislikes paint, sand, glitter, play dough, glue, etc.)
  • Resists fingernail or toenail cutting
  • Bothered by background environmental sounds like outside construction, traffic noises, lawn mowing
  • Hates getting hair cut                                                   
    Sensory Disorder Checklist
    Aversion to Haircuts
  •  Dislikes toothpaste and mouthwash
Sensory Issues with Teeth Brushing
Brushing Teeth is a Battle     

  • Wipes or washes hands frequently or gets distraught when hands get dirty
  • Excessively ticklish
  • Reacts negatively to smells which do not usually bother, or get noticed, by others
  • Avoids elevators and escalators
  • Fearful of the sound of a toilet flushing, dog barking, vacuum, hairdryer, squeaky shoes, door bell
  • Appears restless and fidgety
  • Has difficulty getting to sleep or waking up because of a slight sound
  • May dislike certain people because of the sound of their voice
Will not walk Barefoot in Grass
Dislikes Going Barefoot in the Grass

  • May refuse to walk barefoot on grass, shag carpet, or sand    
  • Refuses to eat certain foods because of the way they smell
  • Finds it difficult to self-calm

Signs of Under-Responsivity:

Drooling in Older Children
Excessive Drooling
  • Shows extreme difficulties waking up
  • Unaware of being touched or bumped unless done with extreme force or intensity
  • Seems to ignore certain sounds
  • Unaware that face or hands are dirty; may not feel that nose is running
  • May not be able to identify which part of their body was touched if they were not looking
  • Appears unreactive and slow
  • Excessive drooling past the teething stage       
  • May have experienced little or no babbling as an infant
  • Appears to make noise just to make noise
  • Unaware of pain; not bothered by injuries, like cuts and bruises
  • Shows little or no distress with vaccinations
  • Fails to notice or ignores unpleasant odors
  • Might appear deaf even when hearing is normal; may not respond when name is called
  • Difficulty with toilet training, unaware of being wet or soiled
  • May need directions repeated often, or will say, "What?" frequently

Signs of Sensory Craving:

  • Fidgets excessively
  • Seeks or makes loud, disturbing noises
  • May crave touch, needing to touch everything and everyone
  • Seeks out and enjoys messy play
  • Looks for surfaces and textures that provide strong tactile feedback; may constantly rub against the object
  • Loves being tossed in the air
  • Could spin for hours and never appears to get dizzy                
    Craving Sensory Stimulation like Spinning
    Could Spin for Hours
  • Loves jumping on furniture, trampolines, jumping off objects, spinning in a swivel chair, or getting into upside down positions
  • Enjoys swinging as high as possible and for long periods of time
  • Prefers food with strong flavors--excessively spicy, sweet, sour, or salty
  • Climbs, jumps and crashes constantly
  • Searches for "extreme" sensations
  • Kicks feet on chair or floor while sitting at desk
  • Loves to drag, push or pull heavy objects
  • Seeks out fast or spinning activities
  •  Loves fast, intense rides at amusement parks
Sensory Processing Disorder Hyposensitive
Craves Fast, Intense Activities

  • Wants to be tightly wrapped in many blankets at bedtime
  • Prefers clothes to be as tight as possible
  • Sucks on or bites clothing, fingers, pencils, etc.
  • Chews on straws, pencils, shirt sleeves, hair            
    Hyposensitivity--Biting, Chewin, and Sucking on Non-food Items
    Chewing on Hair or Other Non-Food Objects
  • Mouths objects excessively beyond infancy
  • Frequently crack knuckles
  • Enjoys excessively loud music; turns TV, radio or headphones to high volume
  • May be self-abusive; pinching, biting, or banging head
  • Enjoys “roughhousing” and wrestling types of play
  • Bangs toys and objects excessively
  • Craves deep pressure and hugs
  • Grinds teeth during the day
  • Appear impulsive
  • Demonstrates high level of risk-taking behavior; seems unaware of danger; may be reckless

II.  Sensory-Based Motor Disorder refers to individuals who incorrectly process motor information, leading to poor motor skill performance.

Signs of Sensory Motor Based Problems:

  • Appears slow, clumsy and uncoordinated
  • Demonstrates poor motor skills
  • Poor handwriting                                                          
    Sign of Sensory Motor Disorder Poor Handwriting
    Poor Handwriting
  • Slumped posture; difficulty sitting or standing erect
  • Delayed development of crawling, standing, walking or running
  • Difficulty attending to, understanding, and remembering what is said or read; often asks for directions to be repeated and may only be able to understand or follow two sequential directions at a time
  • Slow to develop hand preference, not clearly right or left-handed by age 5 

Sensory Motor Based Problems Poor Posture                             
Slumped Posture
  • Unable to throw or catch a ball
  • Displays an awkward grip on pencils or other writing tools
  • Grips items too tightly or too loosely; frequently spills liquid out of drinking glass
  • Displays poor coordination in fine motor tasks, such as cutting, holding a marker or pencil, manipulating fasteners (zippers, snaps, buttons), opening and closing containers, stringing beads, putting on clothing (shoes, socks, jacket, pants), etc. 
  • Unable to eat well using fork, spoon, and knife
  • Frequently drops or spills thing
  • Written work is messy, often rips the paper when erasing
  • Unable to drink from an open cup or straw
  • Appears overly messy when eating compared to other children their age
  • Exhibit difficulties in imitating age-appropriate shapes and letters
  • Has trouble coloring within the lines
  • Excessively short attention span for age

 III.  Sensory Discrimination Disorder refers to individuals who typically have poor postural control, have difficulty attending to tasks and lack body organization.

Signs of Sensory Discrimination Problems:

  • Drops things constantly
  • Frequently breaks toys and objects, exerting too much force
  • Poor handwriting
  • Difficulty dressing and eating
  • Struggles to use scissors
  • Uses inappropriate force to handle objects
  • Participates in repetitive play for hours; lining up blocks or toy cars, watching one movie over and over
  • Frequently bumps into things, trips, knocks things over, or appears clumsy
  • Poor balance and righting reflexes
  • Seems weaker than other children
  • Frequently trips or falls for no apparent reason
  • May be a messy dresser; looks untidy, does not notice shirt is not tucked, shoes are untied, pants are twisted, collar of shirt is up, etc. 
SPD Symptom--Dressing DifficultiesSensory Processing Disorder

  • Appears stiff and rigid, or loose and floppy
  • May have difficulty articulating and speaking clearly
  • Low muscle tone
  • Frequently “W-sits” on the floor to stabilize body

W-Sitting to Increase Body Stability
W-Sitting to Stabilize Body 

  • Poor core (trunk) control
  • Avoids playground equipment like swings, ladders, slides, or merry-go-rounds
  • May appear terrified of falling even when there is no real risk of it
  • Prefers playing alone with objects or toys rather than with people
  • Terrified of heights, even the height of a curb or small step
  • Excessive difficulty accepting changes in routine
  • Fearful of feet leaving the ground
  • Nervous walking up or down stairs or walking on uneven surfaces
  • Afraid of being tipped upside down, sideways or backwards
  • Difficulty learning an exercise or dance steps
  • Stomps feet when walking
  • Difficulty climbing stairs                             
    Clumsiness as a Sign of Sensory Processing Disorder
    Clumsy with Poor Body Control and Frequent Stumbling
  • Unsure about how to move body during movement, for example, negotiating an obstacle course, retrieving a ball from under a table, stepping over an object in their path
  • Unable to assume a "superman" or “V-up” position (lifting arms and legs together when lying on tummy)
  • Often interrupts, talks out of turn, or "off topic"
  • Unable to stand on one foot with eyes open
  • Difficulty jumping, hopping, galloping, skipping or performing a “Jumping Jack”
  • Unable to kick a moving or stationary ball
  • Struggles to turn doorknobs, handles, or to open and close items
  • Unable to catch or throw a ball overhand
  • Difficulty getting along with peers
Frequently Breaks Pencils and Crayons by Using Too Much Force

  • Unable to regulate pressure when coloring or writing; frequently breaks crayons or ends of pencils; coloring or handwriting may be too faint to see
  • Difficulty getting on or off playground equipment; need assistance to use properly
  • Fearful of riding a bike or difficulty riding a tricycle or bike
  • Unable to locate the source of a sound
  • Moves slowly and cautiously, avoids taking risks, prefers sedentary activities
  • Low endurance; tires quickly with minimal work
  • Difficulty sitting upright in a chair; frequently slumped over desk or table
  • May not be able to identify objects by feel; needs to use vision to help find an item in desk or backpack 

Do not panic if your child has several of the indicators above! No one is perfectly regulated all of the time; we all have some sensory integration problems now and again due to an overload or deprivation of sensory stimulation.  But if a large number of the indicators above describe your child on a regular basis and are interfering with daily life, I encourage you to seek help.  Start with your Primary Care Physician (PCP), your local Early Intervention Program (available in each state for children birth to 3 years old), or your child’s teacher.  They should be able to put you in touch with someone who can start the evaluation process.

We will continue this topic with our next blog:

Part Three:  Strategies for Treating a Sensory Processing Disorder

We carry many great Sensory and Tactile Toys for children.  Visit our Retail Website Here.

Author:  Trisha Roberts

Copyright © 2016 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.