What is sensory integration dysfunction/sensory processing disorder?
Sensory integration, often referred to as sensory processing, occurs when the nervous system takes in messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Sensory processing disorder results when a child is not able to organize information from the senses into appropriate responses. Sensory areas that are involved in sensory processing include visual, auditory, tactile (touch), olfactory (smell), taste, proprioception (sense of where our bodies are in space), and vestibular (balance).
Some children may over respond and others may under respond to sensation. Often what appears to be bad behavior is a defensive response to sensation that is perceived as threatening due to faulty processing of sensory information. To a child with sensory processing disorder who is hypersensitive to touch, an inadvertent bump from another child may be perceived as a hard shove resulting in an aggressive reaction. Another child may be under responsive to sensation and eat a food item that is too hot and not react. While everyone has some degree of inadequate processing of sensation from time to time (e.g. resistance to touching gooey textures, overly sensitive to loud noises) the question to ask is how great is the impact on the child's development and ability to function in all environments. When sensory processing disorder is significant, a child's everyday functioning can be affected.
Sensory integration/processing disorder is addressed through sensory based occupational therapy facilitating more appropriate organization of sensory information, leading to more appropriate responses and behavior.
What areas do your speech therapists address?
Our speech therapists are highly trained with specialties in speech intelligibility (articulation, phonological processing, and apraxia), oral motor, auditory processing, receptive and expressive language of toddlers, preschoolers and school age children, pragmatic language, fluency, and speech and language deficits related to autistic spectrum disorders.
What is the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy?
Occupational and physical therapy overlap in many ways, however there are distinctions between the two disciplines. While both address developmental functional goals, the primary focus of each differs.
Physical therapy focuses on developing and enhancing mobility so that children can safely and successfully participate in activities at home, in school, on the playground and in the community. Physical therapists work on strength, mobility, muscle development, balance, postural control, range of motion, coordination, endurance, motor planning and fitness. Physical therapy addresses developmental milestones such as crawling, walking, running, jumping, as well as developing strategies to accomplish more complex motor tasks such as sports related activities. We emphasize sports related skills as they are crucial for successful interaction with peers in school and in the community.
The goal of occupational therapy is to optimize a child's ability to perform their occupation – which is primarily play - in all environments. The skills necessary for children to perform their primary occupation include fine motor skills, sensory processing and regulation, attention, strengthening, perception, motor planning, self help skills, and coordination. Gross motor skills are addressed as well in the context of providing a strong foundation upon which fine motor skills can be developed.
How does a screening differ from an evaluation?
A screening is a more general look at a child's skills to determine if they are age appropriate. During a screening, the therapist looks for red flags indicating that a more in depth evaluation in needed.
An evaluation is a detailed examination of a child strengths and weaknesses to determine if skills are at age level, and what deterrents to the development of age appropriate skills may be present. The skilled evaluators at Kid Clan use the knowledge gleaned from the evaluation as a blueprint for treatment, and continuously evaluate the child throughout therapy to determine if treatment is effective and if changes in the therapeutic plan need to be made.
Why does Kid Clan place so much emphasis on caregiver involvement?
When a child is taken to the pediatrician for an ailment, often there are quick solutions. Pediatric therapy of any kind requires patience and consistency as it is an evolving process. The most optimal way for a child to progress toward goals in speech, occupational or physical therapy, is when caregivers (e.g. parents, teachers, daycare personnel) are educated by the treating therapist to incorporate therapeutic activities into everyday routines. The consistent practice throughout the child's day enables newly acquired skills to be integrated more quickly. An informed caregiver can also provide valuable feedback to the treating therapist, facilitating more focused and effective therapy.
Do you accept insurance?
While Kid Clan is not an in network provider, we can assist you in receiving reimbursement for our services. Yohanna Rosas, one of our office assistants will be happy to answer your questions regarding reimbursement and provide you with a bill containing appropriate treatment codes to facilitate reimbursement.