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Sensory Integration: Theory, Disorders, Interventions

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1 Sensory Integration: Theory, Disorders, Interventions
Presented by: Alma Martinez, MOT, OTR Valerie Villarreal, OTS Maggie Flores, COTA

2 Sensory Integration (SI)
Dr. Jean Ayres -1963 Is the ability of a person to take in a variety of sensory input, process and understand it, and use it.

3 What Are The Senses? Vestibular- movement Tactile- touch
Proprioception- where are your body parts? Visual- seeing Auditory- hearing Taste Smell

4 How Is Information Processed?
Main sensory systems Tactile Proprioception Vestibular Transmitters of information from environment to the brain

5 Why Sensory Integration?
Increases interaction with others Develops necessary skills Organization

6 Sensory Integration Theory
Automatic process Natural outcomes occur Learning problems Developmental lags Behavior issues

7 How is SI Used? Understanding the WHOLE environment Learning
Understanding what is going on around us Regulation

8 Neurobiologically Based Concepts
Neural Plasticity Central Nervous System Organization Adaptive Response Sensory Nourishment

9 Development Process of SI
Detection or registration of sensation Modulation of sensation Sensory discrimination Higher sensory integrative skills Targeted occupations

Senses CNS Result

11 Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
“Problems in directing, regulating, interpreting, and responding to sensory input.” (Miller, Anzalone, Lane, Cermak, Osten, 2007) Can influence child’s response to: Environment People Tasks/activities *Note: Some of us may have sensory processing challenges, but it is considered a Sensory Processing Disorder when the problem is severe enough to interfere with daily routines or roles.

12 Impacts On Every day Life
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Social Participation Education/Work Play/Leisure Rest and Sleep


14 Ten Fundamental Facts About SPD
Sensory Processing Disorder is a complex disorder of the brain that affects developing children and adults. Parent surveys, clinical assessments, and laboratory protocols exist to identify children with SPD. At least one in twenty people in the general population may be affected by SPD. In children who are gifted and those with ADHD, Autism, and fragile X syndrome, the prevalence of SPD is much higher than in the general population. Studies have found a significant difference between the physiology of children with SPD and children who are typically developing. Studies have found a significant difference between the physiology of children with SPD and children with ADHD. Sensory Processing Disorder has unique sensory symptoms that are not explained by other known disorders. Heredity may be one cause of the disorder. Laboratory studies suggest that the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are not functioning typically in children with SPD. Preliminary research data support decades of anecdotal evidence that occupational therapy is an effective intervention for treating the symptoms of SPD. from Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) p by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR

15 SPD Subtypes Sensory Modulation Disorder Sensory over-responsivity
Too much information coming in Sensory under-responsivity Information comes in but not responsive to it Sensory seeking or craving ‘Needing’ more information

16 Sensory Over-Responsivity
Brain has too LOW of a threshold Tactile Difficulty with getting hair cuts Avoidance of touching certain textures Vestibular Disoriented after bending down Anxious when feet leave the ground Avoids rapid or rotating movements Visual Difficulty tolerating bright lights

17 Sensory Over-Responsivity
Proprioception Difficulty being hugged Difficulty with people moving your body Auditory Fearful of sounds Distracted by certain noises Frequently cover ears Oral “Picky” eater Difficulty brushing teeth

18 Sensory Under-responsivity
Brain has too HIGH of a threshold Tactile Difficulty noticing touch Dress inappropriately for weather Vestibular Does not get dizzy Enjoys being upside down or sideways “Thrill seeker” Visual Often miss what is right in front of them

19 Sensory Under-responsivity
Proprioception Poor body awareness Floppy or poor posture Auditory Listens to loud music or TV Talks to self during a task (out loud) Oral May be able to eat anything

20 Sensory Seeking/Craving
Seeks arousal of nervous system (inappropriately) Tactile Enjoy “bear” hugs Crave touch of textures Vestibular Jumping Enjoy spinning in circles, being upside down

21 Sensory Seeking/Craving
Proprioception Loves crashing or bumping into objects Craves highly physical activities Auditory Speaks louder than necessary Needs to listen to music to concentrate Oral Puts anything in mouth (searching for oral input)

22 SPD Subtypes Sensory Discrimination Disorder Visual (eye)
Auditory (ear) Tactile (touch) Vestibular (movement) Proprioception (muscle) Taste/smell (mouth/nose)

23 Sensory Discrimination Disorder Examples
Proprioception Constant slamming of doors Pushing too hard (to increase awareness) Tactile Need to use eyes when searching for object in backpack or purse Taste/smell Difficulty distinguishing between flavors or scents Vestibular Frequently falls out of chairs

24 SPD Subtypes Sensory Based Motor Disorder Dyspraxia
Difficulty motor planning Postural disorder Poor cocontraction Muscle tone (Low) Equilibrium and posture Immature reflexive abilities Bilateral Integration

25 Examples of Dyspraxia Proprioception Poor gross motor skills
Poor motor control and body awareness during dressing Vision Navigating through crowded hallways Poor gross motor skills Running jumping Poor fine motor skills Zipping Buttoning Problems in figuring out how to do movements Dressing Complex dance steps

26 Examples of Postural Disorders
Low muscle tone ‘slumped’ in chair Leans on things Poor balance Often trips or bumps into objects Difficulty with riding a bike or jumping Poor stability Sits in awkward positions Head and eye stability Difficulty when reaching for objects Use of two sides of body not stabilizing paper to write


28 How Do You Feel About… Cold shower Wool clothing Panty hose Sweatpants
The feel of Jell-O in your mouth The sound of birds Bright colored walls in the bedroom The smell of perfume Elevators Roller Coasters

29 Support Groups Moms Connect About Autism-MoCAA
Sensory Planet Social Network SPD Parent SHARE

30 References American Occupational Therapy Association. (2008). Occupational therapy practice framework: Doman and process (2nd ed.). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62, Baranek, G., Foster, L. & Berkson, G. (1997) Tactile defensiveness & stereotyped behaviors. Am J. of Occupational Therapy, 51, 91-95 Bundy, A., Lane, S., Murray, E. (2002). Sensory integration theory & practice. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company. Dunn, W., Myles, B. & Orr, S. (2002). Sensory processing associated with Asperger syndrome: A preliminary investigation. AJOT, 56, Kimball, J. (1999). Sensory integrative frame of reference. In Kramer, P. & Hinojosa, J. Frames of Reference for Pediatric Occupational Therapy. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins. Kranowitz, C. (2004). The out-of-sync child: Recognizing and coping with sensory processing disorder 2nd ed. New York: Berkley. Miller, L. Anzalone, M., Lane, S., Cermak, S. & Osten, E. (2007). Concept evolution in sensory integration: A proposed nosology for diagnosis. Am J of OT, 61, (2), Henry, D. A, Kane-Wineland, M., & Swindeman, S. (2007). Tools for Tots: Sensory Strategies for Toddlers and Preschoolers 2007.

31 Review of challenges/characteristics…..
Slow Processing - Difficulty shifting attention Inattentive, Difficult to arouse Does not like change or transitions Rigid – Demands routine

32 Difficulty with, or seeks out, certain types of foods/textures
Smells all food before eating - smells objects Unable to sit with anyone behind them in class Difficulty attending from the back of the room Explosive emotions or lack of emotions or incongruent emotional responses

33 Aggression to self or others
Compulsive Behaviors Difficulty with clothing, type of clothing, and change of clothing

34 Perseveration on topic or activity - Fixation on sensory stimuli
Clumsy, awkward, difficulty in sports Over or Under-reaction to pain Unsure of group situations, cautious, or a loner 2

35 Work Sheet Which is your student/child? Identify the sensory type (or types) that you observe to be true of your student or child

36 So What Can We Do? The "Sensory Diet"

37 The “Sensory Diet” includes….
PROVIDING SENSORY EXPERIENCES A combination of sensory experiences needed by a person to adaptively interact with the environment (“make it through the day”). MAKING ENVIRONMENTAL MODIFICATIONS Modification and organization of the environment in order to decrease stress on a fragile sensory system.

38 Those with sensory processing challenges
May not be able to filter and focus May attempt to adjust in a maladaptive way (Ex: Escalation of Mood, Shutting Down) Will require a “sensory diet” enriched with unique sensations and experiences

39 Creating The Sensory D.I.E.T.
D …..Do an Informal Assessment I …..Individualize E …..Environmental Supports T …..The Power Senses

40 Do an Informal Assessment
Assess the Environment and the Individual’s response to a variety of sensory experiences Seeker? Active Avoider? Under-Responder? Overwhelmed

41 Individualize the Sensory Diet
What has worked for one person may not work at all for someone else!

42 Considerations for the Sensory Diet
UNDER-RESPONDER Increase the use of visual supports and routines. Structure the environment. Time to respond Careful encouragement to try new experiences SEEKER Provide sensory experiences frequently & proactively May need to limit excitatory experiences Considerations for the Sensory Diet ACTIVE AVOIDER Modify the environment to reduce the need to escape Gentle introduction to new experiences OVERWHELMED Control the environment Limit stimulation Limit change but prepare for changes when they need to occur.

43 Environmental Supports
Organization Predictable, Structured, Consistent Environment Task or Curriculum Visual Supports Escape Environments

44 Proactively Schedule Sensory Activities
Use the Power Senses throughout the day in order to help a person alert, attend, act, and react At times, additional activities or input may be needed based on the behaviors observed

45 Proprioceptive System
The Power Senses Tactile System Proprioceptive System Vestibular System

46 The Power Senses Vestibular Movement Proprioception
Input through joints and muscles Tactile Deep Pressure Touch

47 The Power Senses Tactile System

48 Protective Two Tactile Systems Discriminative

49 Pertains to the sense of touch Helps provide a basis for body image
Tactile System Pertains to the sense of touch Alerts to danger Gives body boundaries Helps provide a basis for body image

50 Protective System Activates “Fight, Fright, or Flight”
Born with this system- “Primal” Stimulated by light touch, pain, temperature Processed through the emotional, excitatory portion of the limbic system  NOT a cognitive response

51 Discriminative : Pressure Touch
Deep touch/pressure, and vibration Activates Parasympathetic System Calms and organizes Allows for more cognitive response Helps us learn and think

52 Dysfunction of the Tactile System
Distractibility Hyperactivity Over/Under Sensitivity Hyper-vigilant Inappropriate pain sensation Avoids getting hands dirty Difficulties with clothing/textures Avoids whole hand Disorganized when touched Intolerant of wearing glasses/hearing aide Difficulty with Social Space

53 Tactile Defensiveness is when…
- Sensitive to light touch Touch causes difficulty organizing behavior and concentration Touch causes negative emotional responses Can become aggressive, if feeling threatened or stressed

54 Interventions for Tactile Defensiveness
Brushing Protocols Wilbarger Protocol PRR Brushing over arms, legs, back with a soft brush , followed by joint compressions Caution A brushing protocol should only be implemented after an assessment and training by a qualified professional

55 Why Focus on The Power Senses?

56 Sensory Bucket Three Power Senses will provide: more input
To“fill the sensory bucket” quickly use the Power Senses Three Power Senses will provide: more input more quickly to make changes that are more rapid Sensory Bucket Based on Work of Bonnie Hanshu

57 Environmental Supports
Access to an escape/private area Caution with placement Student may want to sit where no one is behind him Some feel secure with boundaries that keep others at a distance….. Others need space in order to make a “quick escape”





62 Quiet Sensory Area

63 Heavy Blankets, Pillows,
Tactile supports Heavy Blankets, Pillows, Lap Pads Pencil Grips Fidget Items

64 Choose carefully….. Or Under-Responsive ....but need this to avoid
Seeker may want this..... ....but need this to avoid getting too "high"... Avoider Overwhelmed Under-Responsive Or

65 Other Tactile Supports
Consider the type of clothing and the way it fits Tight? Loose? Fabric? Swimming/Water Play Body Sock Remove tags from clothing

66 Body Sock

67 People Supports: What Others Can Do
Avoid unnecessary touch and Ask Permission Avoid touching face to gain attention Move slowly and provide “Waiting Time” up to 10 seconds When touch is necessary, use Deep Pressure Touch

68 Proprioceptive System
The Power Senses Proprioceptive System

69 Proprioceptive System
Muscles, joints, and tendons provide a person with a subconscious awareness of body position via the feedback from receptors in the muscles, tendons and joints.

70 Proprioceptive System
Motor Planning Awareness of body in time and space without constant visually monitoring

71 Dysfunction of Proprioceptive System
Clumsiness, a tendency to fall Lacks awareness of body position/odd posture Difficulty with small objects (buttons/ snap) Disorganized….. Materials & Thoughts Poor or resistance to handwriting Eats in a sloppy manner Resists new motor movement activities

72 Activities that provide proprioceptive input
Joint compression or extension “Heavy work” activities The larger the joint, the more proprioceptive input

73 Examples of “Heavy Work”
Passive Joint Compressions Jumping/Trampoline (floor may be better..) Stacking Chairs Weight Lifting “Bungee Cord” on Chairs Chewing Gum “Pretzel Hugs”

74 Fine Motor Supports “Hand-prep” exercise
Limit Handwriting Requirements Alternatives to handwriting Keyboarding Software Set of notes Grips Velcro on Shoes Alternatives & Accommodations Options in Word and PowerPoint Sensory Breaks between tough fine motor activities

75 ALL will need environmental supports
Organizational Supports Visual Supports Color coding Timers/Watches Written directions Written rule reminders Under-Responders will need clear and noticeable supports

76 Stay on schedule Pace language Use Concrete Language Use Wait Time
What Can Others Do Stay on schedule Pace language Use Concrete Language Use Wait Time

77 The Power Senses Vestibular System

78 Vestibular System The vestibular system refers to the structures within the inner ear (the semi-circular canals) These structures detect movement and changes in the position of the head.

79 The brain needs vestibular input in order to function
Vestibular input provides the Strongest Sensation

80 Movement can change an individual’s attention, arousal and alertness in the shortest period of time
The effects from vestibular input can last longer than any other input.

81 Hypersensitive: Active avoider and overwhelmed
Fearful reactions to ordinary movement activities Apprehensive walking or crawling on uneven or unstable surfaces Seem fearful in open space Appear clumsy Want their feet on the ground! These folks need gentle experiences and support as they become more comfortable

82 Hypo-sensitive Under-Responders and Seekers
Seeker: Actively seek and demonstrate a need for intense movement experiences (whirling, jumping, spinning, spinning objects, pacing) May includes visual stim Be aware: Seeker can become over-excited Needs monitoring “Cap-off” vigorous vestibular activity with proprioception (“heavy work” or joint compression) Under-Responder may need gentle encouragement to engage in movement activities

83 Activities that provide vestibular input
Seeker/Avoider/Overwhelmed Linear, Calm, Slow, Controlled movement to gain attention Under-Responder Unpredictable, multi-directional, spinning (if individual requests), to alert and orient someone who is under-responsive Be very cautious imposing vestibular movement – can be very frightening

84 Selected Strategies Swinging Rocking Chair Sit & Spin/Dizzy Disc
Therapy Balls as Chairs Moveable Cushions or Deflated Beach Balls as Chair Cushions

85 Selected Strategies Delivering Messages or Packages (or any job that requires walking, moving, bending, etc.) Running Track or possible a Treadmill Movement breaks placed proactively in the day

86 Remember…… Do NOT withhold recess/gym based on the child’s behavior or inability to complete work Movement and activity may be the input the child needs in order to maintain behavior, concentrate and learn!

87 Environmental Supports
Firm Supportive seating Feet on floor Desk and chair that fit Railings on step Cushion for movement Space to move and pace

88 Creating The Sensory D.I.E.T.
D …..Do an Informal Assessment I …..Individualize E …..Environmental Supports T …..The Power Senses

89 How can a therapist help my child?
School-based therapist Part of a full evaluation or pre-referral tool Assist with program planning Educate staff and personnel Collaboration between school and clinic Clinic-based therapist Obtain observations of participation in school and home Educate the parent/caregiver Collaborate with the school therapist and school team Research

90 How can we help optimize the learning experience??
By knowing what type of strategies/activities to do with your child that will help the body organize and interpret sensory information to the brain.

91 Activities for tactile sense:
Shaving cream (unscented, if possible) Playdough Theraputty Textured food Finger painting Hair gel Tactile road Playing dress-up Ball pit Blanket wrapping Pressure vest Gentle but firm massage Vibrating toys

92 Activities for Vestibular sense:
Swings Scooter boards Wagon rides Self propelling toy cars Slides Obstacle courses Monkey bars Trampoline Rolling on mat NOTE: This must be slow and brief at first, in very secure positions.

93 Activities for proprioceptive sense
Crash pad Crawling (can crawl through tunnel, over beanbags or pillows) Running Climbing Marching Wall push-ups Weighted garments Pressure garments Heavy work Scooter board Therapy ball Jumping on a trampoline Wheelbarrow walks

94 Activities for auditory sense
Soft music Soft voice White noise Quiet room Up beat music Loud voice Instruments/noise makers White noise Classical music

95 Activities for visual sense:
Soft colors Solid backgrounds Dim lights Desk lamp Uncluttered area Flash light tag Visual schedules Bright colors Bright lights

96 If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child development and sensory processing 1- Contact your pediatrician/primary care physician 2- Get a referral for skilled therapy services 3- Contact your therapy provider of choice

97 Any questions?

98 Alma Martinez MOT, OTR Valerie Villarreal OTS Maggie Flores, COTA You may reach us at : 6550 Springfield Ave Ste. 101 (956)

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