Physiotherapy Notes

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Introduction to Sensory Integration In Pediatrics

Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound and the pull of gravity. The process of the brain organizing and interpreting this information is called sensory integration. Sensory integration provides a crucial foundation for later, more complex learning and behavior. For most children, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities. Motor planning ability is a natural outcome of the process, as the ability to adapt to incoming sensations. But for some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When the process is disordered, a number of problems with learning, development or behavior may become evident.

The concept of sensory integration comes from a body of work developed by A. Jean Ayres, PhD,OTR. As an occupational therapist, Dr. Ayres was interested in the way in which sensory integration and motor planning disorders interfere with daily life function and learning. This theory has been developed and refined by the research of Dr. Ayres as well as other occupational and physical therapists. In addition, literature from the fields of europsychology, neurology, child development, and psychology has contributed to theory development and intervention strategies.

How sensory integration therapy typically works,its the main form of Sensory Integration Therapy is a type of occupational therapy that places a child in a room specifically designed to stimulate and challenge all of the senses. During the session, the therapist works closely with the child to encourage movement within the room. Sensory integration therapy is driven by four main principles.First principle Right Challenge the child must be able to meet the challenges through playful activities.Second principle is adaptive Response the child adapts behavior to meet the challenges presented.third principle is active Engagement the child will want to participate because the activities are fun.Finally the child-directed the child's preferences are used to initiate therapeutic experiences within the session.  

Sensory Integration therapy is careful to not provide children with more sensory stimulation than they can cope with. The occupational therapist looks for signs of distress. Children with lower sensitivity (hyposensitivity) may be exposed to strong sensations, while children with heightened sensitivity (hypersensitivity) may be exposed to quieter activities. Treats and rewards may be used to encourage children to tolerate activities they would normally avoid.     Principles of sensory intergration therapy is to do accurate assessment of child’s difficulties is vital in order to find out where the child’s problems lie, and how to plan treatment effectively. *  Child/therapist interaction (intensive)

*  Child guided. (Often the child seeks out the sensory input he/she needs) * Therapist aims to help the child to find this out for him/herself and guides in the right direction so that he/she gets maximum benefit. * Aims to raising the child’s self-confidence and therefore get away from success and failure. * Does not aim to teach the child how to perform/carry out specific tasks but ‘helps the child to learn’, i.e. by using the sensory systems help the brain to organise itself. * Uses play and different types of equipment

* How child interacts appropriately with their environment.

Those with Sensory Based Motor Disorders (SBMD) have difficulty navigating this world. Their bodies simply don't do what their brains tell them to do. SBMD has been broken down into two different categories. The first is Dyspraxia, taken from the Greek word 'praxis' (to do) and the Latin prefix 'dys' (badly), and involves poor motor coordination, timing, planning, organizing and sequencing. The second category of Sensory Based Motor Disorder...
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