Sensory integration is how our brain receives and processes sensory information so that we can do the things we need to do in our everyday life. SI therapy is often a whole body, play-based, and movement approach specifically targeting each of the sensory systems that receive input: vision, auditory, gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), tactile (touch), proprioceptive (joint position sense), and vestibular (balance and movement). Occupational therapists use a multi-sensory approach, addressing the 7 senses. A typical session incorporating SI uses: swings and suspended equipment, climbing equipment, obstacle courses, trampoline, and crash pads.
Effective integration of these sensations enables improvement in the adaptive response children can have through an organized central nervous system. SI intervention develops the skills needed to successfully participate in the variety of occupational roles we value, such as care of self and others, engagement with people, objects, and participation in social contexts.
The primitive reflexes are a series of automatic movements present at birth and are performed without conscious involvement. Each reflex plays a specific role in development, affecting cognitive skills, motor coordination, postural control, and emotional regulation.
Occupational therapy addresses and works to integrate the following reflexes:
Fear paralysis reflex
Asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR)
Symmetrical tonic neck reflex (STNR)
Spinal galant reflex
Tonic labyrinthine reflex (TLR)
BLOMBERG RHYTHMIC MOVEMENT
BRMT was developed by Dr. Harald Blomberg and is a motor re-education program based on rhythmic movements that works to mature the brain and integrate the primitive reflexes. The rhythmic movements completed take the person back through important developmental patterns they need to go back through and even re-learn.
Developed by Vital Links, Therapeutic Listening is a research-based tool for treating people of all ages who have difficulty with processing sensory information, listening, attention, and communication.
Therapeutic Listening is a sound-based intervention often implemented as part of a comprehensive, multi-faceted therapy program, which encompasses much more than just the ears but the whole-body. Like other sensory systems, the auditory system does not work in isolation. Neurologically it is connected to all levels of brain function and as a result, has a vast range of influence. How we listen impacts not only our overall physiology, but also our behavior.
DIR is the Developmental, Individual-differences, and Relationship-based model developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan to provide a foundational framework for human development. It explains the critical role of social-emotional development starting at birth and continuing throughout the lifespan. It also provides a framework for understanding how each person individually perceives and interacts with the world differently. The model highlights the power of relationships and emotional connections to fuel development. Through a deep understanding of the "D" and the "I" we can use the "R" to promote healthy development and to help every child and person reach their fullest potential.
Floortime (or DIRFloortime) is a specific technique to both follow the child’s natural emotional interests (lead) and at the same time challenge the child towards greater and greater mastery of the social, emotional, and intellectual capacities.
Traumatic events may be overt, such as early loss of a primary caregiver; sexual, physical or emotional abuse; or domestic, community and school violence. Trauma may also be innocent, such as early hospitalization and necessary lifesaving medical procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit. Exposure to adverse life experiences has been shown to increase the likelihood of social, emotional and developmental delays. Furthermore, children with developmental delays have a higher risk of being subjected to experiences involving physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
There is a growing understanding, and accompanying clinical practice that addresses the connection between sensory processing dysfunction and trauma. When an individual cannot adequately process sensory information or traumatic experiences, the body’s natural defense mechanisms become heightened, further impacting sensory processing disorder.
Myofascial release is a gentle and safe, hands-on, manual therapy used to release trauma, tension, and inflammatory responses in the body. MFR treats the mind/body complex, eliminating the physical restrictions felt within the body’s connective tissue (fascia).