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Occupational Therapy (OT) Parent Workshop Our Lady of Good Counsel . Practical Sensory Strategies for Home and School Karen Barry 20 th November 2012. Role of the Occupational Therapist (OT) Sensory Processing Practical strategies/activities that you can carry out at home. .

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Occupational Therapy (OT) Parent Workshop Our Lady of Good Counsel

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Occupational Therapy (OT)

Parent Workshop

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Practical Sensory Strategies for Home and School

Karen Barry

20th November 2012


  • Role of the Occupational Therapist (OT)

  • Sensory Processing

  • Practical strategies/activities that you can carry out at home.

Overview of Workshop


Aims to maximise the child’s participation in age related occupations

Childhood occupations:

  • School/Academic

  • Self- care

  • Play/leisure

Role of the Occupational Therapist Working with Children with Special Needs


  • Sensory Processing

  • Gross motor skills

  • Fine motor skills

    and how a child’s performance of

    these 3 factors influences their ability to learn and play.

3 areas that are assessed by the OT


touch

vision

taste

7 senses

sound

smell

Balance

Body awareness


The brain’s ability to effectively process information from our bodies and the which makes it possible to use our bodies effectively within the environment.

Information from our 7 senses goes to the brain, where it is organised and interpreted. As a result, plan of action is carried out in response e.g. when a feather tickles your hand you brush it off.

What is Sensory Integration/Sensory Processing?


Sensory processing


Affect of sensory processing on alertness


Break symbol


What are your sensory preferences?

What calms you?

What energises/stresses you?

Your Sensory Checklist


  • Tactile (touch: light touch and deep pressure)

  • Vestibular (movement and balance)

  • Proprioception (heavy muscle work and body awareness)

3 most important senses for regulation and development of motor skills


  • Light touch versus deep pressure touch

  • Stimulating/alerting Vs calming

Tactile System


Activities that provide enhanced tactile (touch) sensation (usually alerting)

  • Sensory walks (walk on textured mats, into containers of sand, rice etc)

  • ‘Goopy play’: dry: rice, sand, peas, lentils: hide little items inside to find, playdough

    Wet: shaving foam, finger painting etc

  • Feelie bag (bag with different textures inside) feel book etc.

  • Fidget basket (spiky balls, textured toys, pot scrubber, sandpaper, velcro etc), different textured fabrics, e.g. velvet, corduroy, fleece, sponges feathers...)

  • Home activities: Cooking, baking, bathtime and gardening activities: get your hands messy!

  • Vibration: battery operate toothbrush, foot spa, electric massager


Deep Pressure activities (usually calming)

  • Massage: body, head, hand, foot

  • Wrap up in blankets. Towel after the shower etc

  • Heavy blankets, duvet, ball blanket

  • Hugs, squeezes, squishes in large beanbag

  • Tight, snug clothing, under garments etc.


The vestibular system is our balance and movement sense. It tells us where our body is in relation to gravity, whether it is moving and how fast. It is important for posture, muscle tone and bilateral coordination.

Vestibular System


  • Gym ball/peanut ball: Belly on the ball, hoppy ball

  • Rocking chair, spinning office chair

  • Playground equipment e.g. swing,roundabouts.

  • Trampoline, mini trampette

  • jumping

  • hopping

  • Skipping

  • rolling

  • O.T. Equipment: balance board, scooter board, air cushion.

Activities that provide enhanced Vestibular sensation (usually alerting)


Proprioception

Proprioception is the sense that gives us awareness of body position. Messages from the proprioceptors in the muscles and tendons let us know about our body position and force of movement.


Use activities that encourage child to push, pull, or carry heavy loads i.e., heavy work for the muscles.

  • Stretching: Stretchy scooby, Theraband, theraputty

  • Squeezing; fidget toys, stress ball, self squeeze

  • Push ups: chair desk of wall, push 5’s

  • Weight bearing: bear, crab, wheelbarrow walks

  • Playground equipment: e.g. Climbing frame, monkey bars

  • Pulling: Tug of War, see saw sit ups (row the boat)

  • Crawling: tunnels, obstacle course, commando crawl etc

  • Crashing: rough and tumble, crash pad etc

  • Heavy Jobs at home or at school

    - Carrying: books, backpack etc

    -watering plants, hoovering, mixing dough

    - opening doors for others

    - lifting: laundry basket

    -organising classroom space e.g. moving furniture

  • Alternate positions for activities e.g. kneeling, standing and lying.

Activities that provide enhanced proprioception (usually regulating)


Important: The above activities provide enhanced sensory input: your child may not tolerate sensory input and hence need less. This may be a learning curve for you and your child. What calms/alerts your child? What if anything does your child seek/avoid? How can you use this information to help him/her in everyday activities?

Therefore:

  • Do provide your child with the opportunities for sensory exploration but never force your child into a sensory activity.

  • Follow your child’s lead: See what your child gravitates towards (does he/she initiate?)

  • Do add in motivators to encourage the child to engage

  • Offer choices

  • What is your child able to do? What do you need to do to teach them/help them do an activity?

Note re sensory activities


Tactile and proprioceptive:

Chewing

Biting

Licking

Blowing

Crunching

Sucking

Safe things to chew including foods of various textures and resistance.

A word on oral motor activities (usually regulating)


  • Proprioceptive input:

    • Chewy and crunchy foods

    • Chewy tubes and ‘chewellery’

    • Carry a bag pack

    • Heavy shoes

    • Carrying groceries

    • Pushing trolley, buggy etc

    • Fidgets

  • Ear muffs for noise

  • Sunglasses for brought sunlight and lights

  • Movement break before going out to raise muscle tone/alertness

  • Breaks from overwhelming environments

  • On the spot breaks: push 5’s squeezes, etc.

How to support your child in the community


  • Do their homework?

  • Sit for mealtimes?

  • Wind down for bed?

  • Tolerate hair and nail cutting?

  • Calm down after playtime?

  • Get some energy in the morning?

How can you support your child to:


Any Questions??


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