Early Intervention: Sensory Integration Challenges with Children
Why does my child shy away from playing or interacting with other children?
There is nothing like a loving hug from your child or that embrace as little ones squeal with joy as they embrace another child their age! But for some children, the touch, the noise, or the interaction is anything but pleasant. “Sensory Integration challenges may cause the family to feel like they are walking on “egg shells” when they take a trip to the grocery store or schedule a play date,” relates Vanessa Doherty, a teli Occupational Therapist.
In her over 13 years experience, Vanessa has helped countless children and their families manage this very difficult and unfortunately prevalent developmental difficulty. “It is very hard for families to understand and often they attribute their child’s behavior to being shy. The good news is, that with Early Intervention, we have a number of techniques that families can use to help their child.”
What exactly is Sensory Integration?
Our world is full of experiences that appeal to your senses – touch – sounds – motion – for example and processing all of these feelings or experiences may be difficult for some children. Some children react negatively to being touched by other children or an unfamiliar relative or even the movement of a swing.
At teli, we have developed a great deal of expertise in this area to help not only the child and families but also provide training to childcare providers on Early intervention techniques to help children with Sensory Integration Challenges. ” The key is to address it early before it snow balls into further development complications that could affect the child’s vocabulary, communication and personal socialization skills.” says Vanessa.
How does Early Intervention help children with Sensory Integration issues?
“At teli we do an extensive evaluation to understand the potential triggers to a child’s issue and then design an individualized program for the child.” describes Vanessa. Activities that provide deep pressure to the skin and muscles have a calming effect on the system. “I am currently working with a child and their childcare provider to help the child cope through the use of what is called a “pressure vest ” that the child wears for periods of time throughout his day to assist him in being more successful in his natural environment and cope with situations that are particularly stressful for him.”
Vanessa has had great success with these techniques and others that help the child to begin to cope and actually integrate these once terrifying experiences into their lives. “Our entire goal is to improve the quality of the child’s life and provide supports to the child, the family, their childcare provider to address the issue and slowly transition them to a comfortable place for all.”