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Individuals with processing issues may experience the following:

  • Problems with balance
  • Problems with body position in space
  • Oversensitivity to touch and the feel of certain types of clothing, such as socks with seams
  • Unresponsive to things around them, even extreme heat, cold or pain
  • Common sounds may be painful or overwhelming
  • Hard to engage in conversation or play

Many children have symptoms like these from time to time, but only when symptoms become severe enough to disrupt normal, everyday activities, is a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder considered. Sensory processing problems are commonly seen in developmental conditions such as autism spectrum disorder.Child using a swing for sensory integration

An occupational therapist will work closely with your family to understand concerns, complete an evaluation and make a plan of treatment specifically designed for your child. The treatment plan and goals will be shared with you.

Therapy sessions are play-oriented with many strategies implemented in Redwood’s state of the art Sensory Gym including:

  • Deep pressure massage, brushing or using weighted vests to provide a calming effect
  • Swinging on different types of swings to promote balance, core strengthening, correct posture and body awareness
  • Jumping on the trampoline to work on overall balance and motor skills
  • Using the squeeze machine to provide deep pressure for calming and self-regulation
  • Spinning to organize the sensory system and promote calming and focus
  • Crashing into cushions in the crash pit to provide input about movement and special positioning

Treatment strategies may be tailored to your child’s situation and needs, but the goal is the same: to reduce their symptoms and improve their learning and development.

Occupational Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder

A young child playing

A person who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have trouble communicating and interacting with others and their interests, activities and play skills may be limited. Occupational therapy can help those who struggle with socials skills, self-regulation and sensory processing, develop skills needed so they can function at home, school or work.