Pediatric Rehabilitation - Sensory-Based Occupational Therapy
What is it?
Sensory-based occupational therapy is a specialized treatment for children with sensory processing difficulties. These difficulties can be present in children with a variety of diagnoses as well as in typically developing children.
What is sensory processing?
Sensory processing occurs in the brain when it receives sensory information, processes it, and reports back to us what is happening. This is the foundation for how we learn and behave. Most of us are familiar with the five basic senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. However, there are two other important senses that impact our bodies; movement (vestibular) and body awareness (proprioception). All seven senses allow us to successfully interact with the world around us.
What is sensory processing disorder?
When the brain has difficulty perceiving information from one or more of the senses it can cause inappropriate reactions to the situation. This can interfere with a child's ability to complete daily activities such as dressing, grooming and eating. It can also limit the child's ability to play with friends and participate in family activities.
Sensory-based occupational therapy may help if your child is:
Over sensitive to touch, sight, sound, smell, or taste, for example:
- experiences distress with grooming or bathing
- refuses to wear certain clothing
- won't eat certain foods
- is intolerant of loud sounds, often covering ears
- is very sensitive to light
Oversensitive to movement, for example:
- experiences distress with play wrestling
- has a strong desire for head to always be upright
- avoids active games or prefers sedentary activity
Under-sensitive to touch, sight, sound, smell, or taste, for example:
- is unaware of being touched or personal boundaries
- is unable to find a desired toy or object
- tends to use a loud voice or enjoy loud sounds
- prefers strong flavored or spicy foods
Under-sensitive to movement, for example:
- always "on the go" or in "constant motion"
- seeks movement like swinging, twirling, or jumping
- uses heavy force
Unusually energetic or sluggish, easily distracted, has difficulty calming self, excessive need for routine, difficulty transitioning between situations and/or poor academic performance
A therapist will thoroughly evaluate each child and work with their family to determine the best treatment plan. Treatment may include: parent and child education, daily "sensory diet" home program, therapeutic exercise, compensatory strategies, adaptive equipment and/or other specialized treatments.
All you need is an order from your doctor, doctor’s assistant or nurse practitioner. To set up your initial appointment, please call 320-229-4976 or 800-835-6652.
Rehabilitation Center -
CentraCare Health Plaza
1900 CentraCare Circle
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Rehab Center - Adult
Neck & Back Program
Rehabilitation Medicine Physicians
Inpatient Rehabilitation -
St. Cloud Hospital
1406 Sixth Avenue North
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Phone: (320) 251-2700, ext. 55740