Sensory Integration Dysfunction

Diane Lewis, MA, CCC-SLP is extremely fortunate to have forged a collaboration and therapeutic community with Canyon Kids, LLC. Canyon Kids, LLC and Christine Sproat, OTR/L, Director, (301-523-0902) provides customized occupational therapy for children in a state-of-the art 1,200 square foot sensory gym. The OT’s at Canyon Kids and the speech-language pathologists at CITG constantly collaborate on the children to ensure that every child’s sensory needs are met during the speech-language therapy sessions.  Oftentimes, the child will attend OT prior to speech-language therapy which provides an excellent “window of opportunity” for learning. As Stanley Greenspan, MD always said, “once the child is regulated, then it is easier for engagement and learning to occur”.

Every speech-therapy treatment area is equipped with suspension hooks for swings, inflated surfaces eg. peanuts, balls, donuts, weighted vests, lap creatures, etc.

Sensory Integration

Diane Lewis, MA, CCC-SLP strongly feels that the sensory system greatly impacts the child’s ability to develop communication, language and speech skills.  To quote Terry Koslowski, OTR/L (The Affect-Based Language Curriculum An Intensive Program for Families, Therapists and Teachers, Appendix A:  Sensory Preparation):

SI Dysfunction vs. Attention Deficit Disorder: A brief comparison of two "look-alike" disabilities

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In my book, The Out-of-Sync Child, I define Sensory Integration Dysfunction (DSI) as the "inefficient neurological processing of information received through the senses, causing problems with learning, development, and behavior." Picture a child who has trouble processing and interpreting sensory messages about how things feel and what it feels like to be touched. Touch stimulation overwhelms this oversensitive child.

How does his problem play out? He is bothered by the label in his tee-shirt, the approach of a classmate, the lumps in his mashed potatoes, the stickiness of the play dough. Fidgeting and squirming, he pays a lot of attention to avoiding these ordinary sensations. Meanwhile, he is unable to pay much attention at all to the teacher's words or to playground rules.