Sensory Processing is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses such as tactile, auditory, visual etc. and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioural responses. Sensory Processing Disorder is when the messages received are either, not organised, blocked or interpreted in the correct manner which can cause inappropriate responses in relation to different sensory channels. Sensory Processing Disorder can be measured on a continuum with minor to major disruptions been caused throughout the child’s daily life.
Difficulties the child may experience:
Difficulties with fine and gross motor co-ordination
Lack of self esteem
Emotional and behavioural issues
Poor understanding of self
Difficulty maintaining relationships.
Aims of therapy:
Hemispheres, aims to integrate the different areas of the central nervous system which play a role in the processing of the sensory systems. We do this by facilitating the integration of the reflexes which help mature the central nervous system.
We therefore aim to improve:
Fine and gross motor co-ordination
Awareness of self
Improve self esteem and confidence
Improve academic performance
Develop relationships with peers and family
Reduce anxiety and aggression towards others
Help children gain understanding and awareness of their own body.
Hemispheres, uses a combination of movement, vision and auditory activities to stimulate and integrate the processing systems. In natural development movement is the first sensory channel that a child gains control of, and this is dependent on the integration of certain reflexes. Our programme works through these reflexes by providing the parent with a daily programme of activities to be completed at home. The regular delivery of the movements assists the body to accept and integrate the sensory systems, thereby building a foundation for change rather than compensation. We use pre-screening tools such as the Sensory Profile to appreciate the impact the sensory processing difficulties are having at home and school, and support other professionals with advice and strategies to use whilst they are on the motor programme.
The length of time will vary depending on whether the sensory processing difficulties exist with another condition such as Autism, Developmental Delay and Dyspraxia. On average children with sensory processing difficulties receive between 6 – 18 sessions. Improvements are noticeable as the child progresses through therapy.