Sensory Processing Disorders

Occupational Therapists are the founders and pioneers of sensory integration (i.e., the brain’s organization of sensation for use) which is viewed as integral to the child’s successful performance of daily occupations (Ayres, 1979; Parham, 2002). Problems with sensory integration (SI) may affect not only a child’s physical enactment of activities, but also his or her feelings of competency in the context of social participation. One of the most fundamental ideas in the ASI conceptual framework is that the early developing, body-centered senses (tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive) provide a foundation for the development of later maturing visual and auditory systems (Ayres, 1972, 1979). In her synthesis of neurobiological and developmental research, Ayres theorized that early development and integration of the tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems allow for the formation of body scheme, object concepts, and body-centered spatial mapping of the environment. These elementary functions eventually become automatized and serve as a platform for the layering of more complex auditory and visual functions (Ayres, 1972, 1979; Smith Roley, 2005).

Co-Founder of Brain Harmony which specializes in sensory integration, Carol Garner-Houston OTR/L, had the following to say about iLs listening programs, “After 22 years of study and practice in occupational therapy and sensory integrative approaches, iLs listening programs are delivering the highest level of outcomes and performance in the treatment of sensory processing disorders. Children and families are no longer provided with compensatory strategies with short term impact. We are providing the deepest level of neurological organization to the most primitive levels of the central nervous system. This is real integration that everyone from the child, to family members and their teachers can see right before their eyes. It’s an OT’s dream to be able to provide outcomes like these.”

 “I notice that he has been making more eye contact. He also hugged his dad back, which never happens. He also used his own money to buy his sister a necklace and then gave her a hug for the first time ever!” –Mom of child with sensory processing disorder

 “My son has been more settled than he's ever been and he did really well on an assessment for his new school for Kindergarten.” –Mom of child with sensory processing disorder

 “The past 3 weeks our daughter has been so much more affectionate than she has ever been! She wants to snuggle right before nighttime and has even asked specifically for snuggles from her dad. It's so nice! We are finding that she is regulating her emotions much better. She is also louder and more appropriately verbal. We are very encouraged and my husband truly feels that the "flood gates" are about to open in terms of her sharing what she is thinking/feeling or maybe telling us about her day at school (she is currently in extended school year). She hasn't ever been conversational and this is something we really want and hope for. Thank you and everyone at Brain Harmony for all the wonderful improvements!”

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