What is Sensory Processing Disorder and How Does it Impact Participation in Daily Activities?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) occurs when a person’s sensory systems (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, vestibular, and proprioceptive) are unable to effectively receive sensory information from the environment and process it to create an appropriate response.  While Occupational Therapists (OTs) do not diagnose SPD, they are considered the experts in how sensory processing issues can impact a person’s ability to …

What is Sensory Processing?

Our sensory systems are made up of seven senses: Visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, vestibular, and proprioception. Sensory processing is the way our bodies use these senses to interpret and interact with the world around us. Our nervous systems receive information from our environments (e.g., a sight, a sound, a smell, a touch) and that information travels to our brains …

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a unique discipline that is centered around the belief that engagement in everyday activities (i.e., occupations) is essential to health and wellbeing, and a vital source of joy and happiness.  Occupational therapists work with their clients to identify occupations that are difficult to complete due to injury, illness, or varied ability and collaboratively find unique ways to …

Mastering Gross Motor Skills in Early Childhood

Motor skills involve the coordination between muscles and the nervous system to create movement. Motor skills are essential in completing everyday tasks and routines. Strengthening gross motor skills is important as they are the building blocks for the development of fine motor skills. What are Gross Motor Skills? Gross motor skills use the larger muscle groups in the arms, core, …

Strategies for Tackling Grooming Tasks in Children with Sensory Processing Challenges

It can be challenging for children with difficulties in sensory processing to tolerate routine grooming tasks, such as hair cutting, bathing, nail trimming, and tooth brushing. This may be caused by tactile hypersensitivity (i.e., aversions to messy/wet textures), auditory over-responsiveness (e.g., aversion to sound of bath water running), and more. Below are strategies developed by occupational therapists that can be …

Signs Your Student Might Benefit from Occupational Therapy

As a teacher, you have an important role in recognizing your students’ strengths along with their areas of need. You want your students to be successful and to continue to make progress each day. As a teacher, you have a pivotal role in identifying students that may benefit from occupational therapy. But do you know the signs? Below are some …

Fine Motor Activities To Do At Home, Recommended by an OT

Like everything else, to be proficient at a skill, you need practice. To improve your child’s fine motor skills, the best thing we suggest to do is to practice! These wide variety of ideas range from fun with playdoh to pop beads you can find at the dollar store. The ideas below are fun and a great way to practice …

Upper Extremity Strength in Children with Cerebral Palsy

Many children with Cerebral Palsy can benefit from pediatric occupational therapy. This is a condition that most people have heard of, but not everyone is familiar with what “Cerebral Palsy” actually means. To provide a comprehensive definition from www.cerebralpalsy.org: “While Cerebral Palsy … is a blanket term commonly referred to as ‘CP’ and described by loss or impairment of motor …

What is a Sensory Diet in Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

If you have a little one with sensory issues, you know that exposing them to different environments can be challenging and uncomfortable. If a child experiences sensory issues they may be highly sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures (all of the above, or just a few). They may also have an atypically low sensitivity to sensory information. In …

What are Z-Vibes in Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

Does your child experience difficulty with feeding or oral sensory processing? If your child currently receives feeding therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy, a Z-Vibe might be a tool that the therapist will incorporate. So, what exactly is a Z-Vibe? A Z-Vibe is a therapeutic vibratory tool developed by ARK Therapeutic Services, Inc. for children who experience difficulties with feeding, …