Sensory Integration Therapy Gym
Welcome to the Sensory Integration Gym at Little Marvels!
Sensory Processing Disorder
In our previous article, we talked about what Sensory Processing Disorder looked like.
Our Occupational Therapists at Little Marvels are able to diagnose and treat Sensory Integration disorders in the therapy gym while working closely with families. Occupational Therapists look at various sensory systems and assess how the brain process these inputs for function (Figure 1).
Figure 1 The Pyramid of Learning by Maryann Trott and Kathleen Taylor
Note. This model highlights how the sensory systems are the foundation for many other skills. It is first created by Maryann Trott and Kathleen Taylor, and this diagram is taken from “The Pyramid of Learning” by otplan.com, 2019, https://otplan.com/pyramid-of-learning/
How can the Sensory Gym Help My Child With Sensory Processing Disorder?
The sensory gym is a setting where specialised equipment (many designed by Dr Jean Ayres) is used to provide children with specific graded sensory inputs to work on adaptive responses and behaviours (Smith, 2019).
As read in the previous article on Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory experiences can be unsafe and emotional for children who have sensory processing issues. Thus, it is important that therapy starts in a controlled setting, like the sensory gym, so that trained therapists are able to create safe experiences and grade the amount of challenge required to meet functional goals.
In a sensory gym, our children can expect to learn adaptive responses with the support of Occupational Therapists trained to identify dysfunctional patterns. With reference to the Pyramid of Learning (Figure 1), therapists working in sensory gyms may work on strengthening foundational skills (bottom levels of the pyramid) and gradually progress upwards to skills that require more integration of different sensory systems.
When children develop the appropriate adaptive skills, the therapy sessions may then move to the child’s natural setting. In the natural setting, additional modifications can be provided to the environment (e.g. getting a trampoline for Sally can really help her get the vestibular input that she craves), or task (e.g. providing Zac with paintbrushes to apply glue).
As such, occupational therapists will need to conduct an initial assessment of your child’s sensory system and work continuously with you so that skills in the therapy sessions are also constantly practised outside. In some cases, occupational therapists may also work together with your child’s school teachers to develop appropriate strategies at school so that your child can be best supported in their learning.
If you have any questions or if you would like to see the Occupational Therapist, feel free to contact us!
In-person therapy services are based in sunny Singapore but we are happy to consult you wherever you are!
Check out our other articles here:
What are Routines Based Interviews for?
My child has messy handwriting
Develop Learn Grow. (2020, November 5). The Pyramid of Learning. https://developlearngrow.com/the-pyramid-of-learning/
Khan, S., & Chang, R. (2013). Anatomy of the vestibular system: a review. NeuroRehabilitation, 32(3), 437–443. https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-130866
Kranowitz, C. S. (2005). The out-of-sync child: Recognizing and coping with sensory processing disorder. Penguin.
OTPlan. (2019, June 23). Pyramid of Learning. https://otplan.com/pyramid-of-learning/
Smith, M. C. (2019). Sensory integration: Theory and practice. FA Davis.
Tuthill, J. C., & Azim, E. (2018). Proprioception. Current Biology, 28(5), R194–R203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.01.064