Theoretical Framework

SENSORY AND THE OT PERSPECTIVE

By 'sensory', we means the way the body receives, analyzes, and responds to the signals it gets from its environment. The senses send information to a child’s nervous system where it is then processed in order to generate a response.  A sensory experience can cue the brain to allow a child to understand his environment more clearly and making him feel safe.  Or, it can be overwhelming, causing him to become defensive and withdrawn.  And, just to make things a little more complicated, no two children will ever respond to a sensory experience in exactly the same way.

An occupational therapist (OT) is trained in sensory integration and can help you learn to guide the child through sensory experiences in a safe, playful, and non-threatening manner.  The end goal is for the child to have a strong, stable, and healthy sense of himself in his environment.

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EDITORIAL: What Is Pediatric Occupational Therapy?

Claire Heffron, The Inspired Treehouse

OTs consider the child’s whole body and how it contributes to overall functioning, but you will commonly find OTs focusing in on fine motor skills, visual motor and perceptual skills, sensory processing, and self care skills. OTs evaluate kids and target their most significant areas of need through interventions in the child’s home, at school, or in a clinical setting. 

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/what-is-pediatric-occupational-therapy/

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Inclusion: How to Provide OT Services in the Classroom

Claire Heffron, The Inspired Treehouse

From a therapy standpoint, inclusion means “pushing into” classrooms to deliver services rather than pulling kids out for therapy sessions. In many (if not most) cases, providing inclusive therapy services is simply best practice.  Why? 1 || It provides kids with greater opportunities to generalize and apply skills in a natural setting. 2 || It provides therapists with better opportunities to consult and collaborate with classroom staff. Etc.

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/inclusion-how-to-provide-ot-services-in-the-classroom/

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What Is Physical Therapy?

Lauren Drobnjak, The Inspired Treehouse

Pediatric physical therapists focus on the development of a child as a whole.  We look at how a child is interacting with his environment and what he might need help with to make that interaction easier and improve his independence. Some children need help moving from one surface to another — getting up from the floor, going from a standing to a sitting position.  

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/what-is-physical-therapy/

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When Do Kids Need Physical Therapy in School?

Lauren Drobnjak, The Inspired Treehouse

In order for kids to qualify for school-based physical (or occupational) therapy, they must demonstrate a deficit in skills that affect their ability to participate in their environment with same-aged peers. Learn more about how kids qualify for physical therapy in school settings from a school-based pediatric PT.

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/physical-therapy-in-school/

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What Does “Sensory” Really Mean?

Pam Braley, The Inspired Treehouse

Getting messy is a wonderful play experience for young children and highly encouraged here at the Treehouse.  But sensory integration is a lot more complicated than just getting your hands dirty.  Here’s a quick glimpse into the world of sensory processing.

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/sensory-integration/

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Sensory Processing: 5 Things OTs Want You to Know

Claire Heffron, The Inspired Treehouse

If you look around the web, you’ll find hundreds of articles, blog posts, and opinions about sensory processing. Some are amazing resources for parents, teachers, and therapists. However, you can also find a lot of misleading information – not to mention the information that is downright false.

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/sensory-processing-myths/

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Discussing Sensory Issues: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Claire Heffron, The Inspired Treehouse

It’s no mystery why school is a struggle for many kids who have sensory processing needs.  In fact, school may be one of the most sensory-rich experiences of childhood. This helpful guide can facilitate a positive and constructive conversation between parents and teachers about a child’s sensory issues.

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/discussing-sensory-issues-a-guide-for-parents-and-teachers/

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Making Sense of Sensory Processing

Claire Heffron, The Inspired Treehouse

Sensory processing is one of the most complex aspects of child development and we’re passionate about providing easy-to-understand answers to the most common questions we hear about sensory processing every day. Take a few minutes to browse through our extensive list of sensory  resources and come away with a better understanding of how kids process and integrate the sensory experiences they encounter every day.

 

To read more: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/sensory-processing-helpful-hints-information/