Sensory Processing Disorders- Getting to the Core of It

Sensory processing, emotional regulation and sensory regulation challenges have become so common.  One search on the internet and you’ll get a myriad of ideas to help your child calm with deep pressure or the movement they crave.

Did you know that you can impact a child’s sensory experience by simply changing their posture?

Sometimes small changes can make the largest impact.  Especially ones that you can reproduce throughout the day, like during mealtime.  Changing a child’s posture can change how they breath.  A deeper breath can activate a child’s calming system.  Plus, the body loves how it feels and will naturally repeat it over and over.

Many children with these challenges overuse postures that make it difficult to activate their core, coordinate their eyes together and can lead to toe-walking.  These children often become stuck in a fight-or-flight pattern.  Many will present with primitive reflexes still present because more mature movement patterns haven’t had the opportunity to develop.

Other children with these challenges will overuse other patterns and may be told to “sit up tall” all day.  These children often haven’t developed the core control needed to sit up while using their eyes, ears and minds all day long.  It can be exhausting for them!  These children are often w-sitters as well.

Lastly, some children have a combination of these two common postures.  The child will overuse one posture in standing and another posture in sitting, letting gravity win in each position.

By supporting a child in a neutral posture, often with someone as simple as a towel roll or yoga wedge, we can build a child’s basic foundations, from the core out.  Combine neutral posture with the breath and later with movement and a child’s sensory processing, emotional regulation and sensory regulation can improve.

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Balance Awareness Week 2017

September 18-24 is Balance Awareness Week!

Balance is something that most people take for granted. It is our constant companion working in the background as we go through our day.  We don’t think about it until something goes wrong!!!   Read more

Toys to Keep Kids Moving All Year Round

Many parents ask me for suggestions this time of year for gifts that will be fun and also promote a child’s gross motor development and fitness.   Here are some great ideas to share with family and friends! Read more

Introducing the Kid PT Team!

Hello! We’re really excited to announce that KidPT is expanding!!! I’m thrilled to introduce you to our two new Therapists, Kate Mills CCC-SLP and Tara Wirth OTR/L, who have joined our team so we can offer you a range of services in one place! KidPT now offers Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy along with our Physical Therapy services.  KidPT highly values looking at the whole child and bringing a team together will even better help children meet their full potential! Read more

It’s Balance Awareness Week!

 

balanceThis week is Balance Awareness Week! Balance can be affected by many different sensory and motor systems and they all need to work together and team up for us to keep our balance during life’s everyday challenges.

Here’s an introduction to our Sense of Balance.

Our vestibular system describes our balance system house in our inner ears. It becomes active before we our born, is tested out and activated by children as they roll and spin throughout childhood, and becomes more sensitive (no more spinning amusement rides!) as we age.

Here’s some more information about when things go wrong in this system in children.

Our somatosensory system is another big member of the balance team. This system includes touch (think toes in the sand) and also proprioceptive information, which travels from muscles and joints to the brain to tell us where we are in space. Here’s a vestibular patient and OT’s blog post talking about proprioception Here’s another great post on proprioception, which (yay!) includes the importance of alignment in core activation (more important than strength!).

Our third important sensory system of the balance team is vision. Children rely on vision as #1 of the sensory team for balance. As children get older, they must learn to integrate the three systems.

During a physical therapy evaluation, the different sensory and motor systems and how they are working together are assessed. Common problem areas are:
-Postural asymmetries and poor alignment affecting PROPRIOCEPTION
-Decreased VESTIBULAR activation
-Decreased functional VISION skills
-Decreased ability to combine postural control with these sensory systems to work automatically without effort

Call us to arrange a screening and learn how to improve your child’s balance skills within minutes!

My Child Keeps Falling Out of His Chair!

A quick and dirty test to rule out a commonly missed cause and how to fix it.

Many parents and teachers complain of children with developmental, learning, and coordination challenges falling out of their chairs. They will see this during class instruction and during homework time. Read more

Healing

In physical therapy we’re mostly focused on improving movement skills or maximizing ability. However, there are other essential factors that need to be present in both children and adults for physical therapy or any other form of healing to lead to wellness.

The most powerful lesson that I learned during my almost two years feeling dizzy was to take control of the things that I could control. When we face illness or disability there are many different ways to approach it, as there are different ways to approach life. Read more

Happy Mother’s Day SuperMoms

Regular moms vs Special needs moms

Moms, a stranger walks among you. We look like regular moms, but we are the hybrid to your standard engine. Our child’s disability altered us, enhanced us. Many words describe us: resilient, creative, protective, emboldened, sympathetic, fierce and determined. We are special needs moms. How do our lives stand apart from your own? Take a look under the hood and see for yourself.

by Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs, May 2010

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