With modulation problems, children may be under- or over-stimulated, leaving the child unable to use the language input received and having difficulty with organized speech output. With perception problems, children may have difficulty in auditory discrimination (necessary to spelling) and articulation (use of appropriate speech sounds).
Children with sensory integration difficulty may be:
Therapy for these children includes a combination of sensory integrative treatment with speech and language remediation. Physical or occupational therapists are usually the professionals trained in sensory integrative therapy. Therapy ideally is given between age one to school age. The combination of approaches helps children to achieve optimal attending levels, increase efficiency in discrimination, and improve ability in motor planning for speech and language skills.
Work in modulation is very similar to those common things we do for babies: slow rocking; rubbing the back; singly softly and rhythmically to calm; as well as tickling, bouncing or placing cold hands on the child to gently arouse. It is very important however that you know what type of stimulation is needed before attempting any of these.
Work in perception/discrimination may include activities for improved organized movement (body and speech) that will show up as an increase in motor coordination. The improvement is due to the child being able to process the complex sensory information with more efficiency.
More normalized responses to sensory stimulation may also lead to better emotional adjustment, improved social skills and self-concept. Parents of those children who have had a sensory integrative approach to therapy report that their child seems to be “better put together,” more assured, better organized and easier with which to live. Others improve significantly in school achievement as their nervous systems begin to function more efficiently. To find out even more about sensory integration difficulties, contact AAC on the Lakeshore.