Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Here at Super Calm Sensory Products our aim is to educate parents, carers, teachers and children on neurodiversity and the impact it can have on the person caring for the child with a neurodiverse difference. We aim to increase understanding on what is happening in the body of a neurologically different person resulting in greater empathy in understanding certain behaviours. By developing sensory diets and activities aimed towards their specific sensory needs the child should reach optimum levels of arousal to allow them to be present during school and home life.
Someone who has neurologically diverse differences may react differently to others around sensory stimuli and other environmental factors. The overall goal is to promote understanding and increase empathy resulting in a more harmonious environment for all.
We believe in the power of Occupational Therapy and have teamed with Advance Therapy Systems in order to provide you with the best possible explanation of the topic and benefits it can bring.
We had the opportunity to talk to an occupational therapists about the topic of occupational therapy, below are their insights and opinions on OT and the benefits it can bring to children's and adult's lives. We at Super Calm recommend OT as part of a multi-sided approach for neurodiverse children. Combined with activities at school and at home it can enable neurodiverse children to reach their full potential.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy helps people to do the everyday occupations that they want and need to do when faced with illness, injury, and disability or challenging life events. For a child these occupations may involve playing, school work, dressing, feeding, toileting and sports. Occupational Therapists can assess and address areas of potential difficulty, impacting on these occupations, for example issues around sensory processing, poor motor coordination, attention, reduced play skills, problems with emotional regulation, or lack of independence on everyday activities.
Who Should Avail of OT
Your child may benefit from OT if they appear to experience issues which interfere with their performance at functional tasks and engagement at school, home, or in the community.
The following are some indicators that your child might warrant therapeutic intervention:
● They are overwhelmed by everyday sensory experiences
● They appear to lose balance easily, and are prone to trips and falls
● Their play skills are delayed
● They are far behind their peers in mastering tasks (e.g. cycling, or tying their shoe-laces)
● They avoid swings in the playground, and are cautious or distressed by movement experiences
● They are upset by loud or unexpected noises
● They show discomfort when handling certain textures (e.g. play dough, water, sand, dirt)
● They have an excessively high activity level, and may be impulsive or boisterous
● They have poor attention, are easily distracted, or struggle to follow direction
● They have difficulties with self-care tasks (e.g. dressing, using cutlery, showering, toileting)
● They have daily meltdowns which are difficult to manage
● They have difficulty with transitions, and struggle to cope with change
● They have handwriting problems
● They have poor organizational skills (lack of ability to plan, gather materials, sequence multiple steps and execute a task to completion efficiently)
● They have difficulty with social engagement (e.g. playing appropriately with peers, interacting well, maintaining personal space, turn-taking)
What are the Key Benefits
● OT can help support your child sensory sensitivities such as touch sensitivity or sound sensitivity.
● OT can improve fine motor skills important for dressing, writing, eating and play
● OT can improve gross motor skills, such as, jumping, hopping, catching, kicking
● OT can help your child coping with sensory demands in their day to day
● OT can help your child become more independent in self-care tasks ( Feeding, Dressing, Toileting, Bathing/showering)
● OT can help your child develop organisation skills, crucial for academic work but also daily routines
● OT can help your child to increase their attention and concentration when completing tasks, sometimes affected by sensory processing issues
What is Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and Language Therapy is a process that assesses, diagnoses and provides therapy to those with speech, language or communication difficulties. Speech and Language Therapists can also work with feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing.
Who Would Avail of SLT
As with all other skills, children develop speech and language skills at different rates. Some children will be early talkers, others may take longer. Because of this it can be difficult as a parent to know when your child may need help with their speech, language or communication development.
You may have noticed your child having difficulties in keeping up with their peers in play group, or that other people may not understand them. The following checklist can help you work out if your child would benefit from a visit to a Speech and Language Therapist;
● Your child is using fewer words than other children their age
● Your child has difficulties making sentences
● Your child finds it difficult to follow instructions or understand questions
● Your child’s interactions or play is different to their peers
● Your child is over three and you or other people find it difficult to understand what they are saying
● Your child is showing frustration because of the way they talk
● Your child has a stutter/stammer
● There is a diagnosis that could affect speech or language such as hearing loss, auditory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorder or developmental delays
● Your child has difficulties in feeding, eating, drinking or swallowing; Speech and Language Therapists also work with the muscles and mechanisms of swallowing
What are the Key Benefits
● Speech and Language Therapy can help children to communicate their needs and wants.
● SLT can improve children’s intelligibility and help others to understand them.
● SLTs can support children in developing relationships with their peers, family and friends.
● SLT can help children to build their self-esteem, allowing them to be more independent and lead a better quality of life.
For further information, please contact:
Advance Therapy Systems
Unit C3 Santry Business Park,
Swords Road, Santry
Phone: 01 8625257