Sensory integration refers to the way in which the nervous system receives messages from the senses and the body’s response to it. An individual may have a disorder with one or multiple senses, which can be likened to a traffic jam in the brain that prevents information from being processed properly. Sensory integration therapy uses activities to help the child modulate sensory stimulation, develop adaptive responses and feel more comfortable with the world around them. The main goal is to help the child develop self-regulation abilities, tolerate sensory stimuli as well as improve balance, fine motor/gross motor, coordination and eye movement.
Most activities in therapy are fun for children. The child will be guided through activities that challenge their ability to respond appropriately to sensory input by making successful and organized responses. The activities are play-based and designed to gradually increase the demands upon the child. Emphasis is on the child’s interaction with sensory information in the environment with goal directed activities, rather than instructing or drilling the child on how to respond.
Integrated Listening Systems is a multisensory program developed by Dr. Minson, a board certified psychiatrist and neurologist. The child wears specialized headphones that send gentle bone conduction frequencies through the body, while listening to music and engaging in physical movement. The program is unique in that it combines visual, vestibular and movement activities with an auditory program. The purpose is to activate neural pathways used in the processing of sensory information.
Dr. Lucy Miller, the founder of the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, highly recommends incorporating an intensive iLs listening program with sensory integration therapy to achieve optimal results for clients. An iLs listening program will help children with attention difficulties, auditory processing disorder, reading difficulty, learning difficulties, pitch discrimination/phonemic awareness, self-esteem and alertness.
Children requiring speech therapy and help with auditory processing can benefit from the iLs VoicePro program, designed to improve auditory processing and language skills.
We also offer the Safe & Sound protocol, which reduces stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience.
To learn more about how iLs works, please watch the following video:
The MNRI method is a gentle and effective approach to facilitate sensory-motor as well as emotional development. The method incorporates innate reflex patterns to facilitate neural development.
Primary movements and reflex patterns are expressed by every individual and are key elements of human development. Many of these reflexes are necessary for survival during periods of stress and danger. They are also neurological building blocks for all learned movements and skills including cognitive skills, motor development & coordination skills, and other primary reflexes. Certain life events experienced before, during and after birth may affect the ability of these reflex patterns to be fully integrated and used effectively. An individual may revert to using infant reflexes due to stress or injury. When reflexes do not fully integrate or become active during stressful situations, abnormal movement patterns may develop and impede the development of more mature movement patterns, skills, & intellectual processes.
Reflex treatment we offer:
- Integration of infant dynamic and postural reflexes
- Tactile Integration
- Facial reflex integration
- Auditory and Visual
- Archetype Movement
- Breathing reflexes: restoration and integration
QRI is a program of low level laser therapy on specific acupoints and reflex patterns to achieve reflex integration. It is also helpful in regulating the nervous system.
The low level laser, also known as a cold laser because it penetrates the skin with no heating effect or damage, increases the amount of ATP within the cell by stimulating the mitochondria. This promotes healing of muscle and tissue and can reduce pain.
Using QRI for reflex integration has been successful in addressing many cognitive, behavioral, and physical challenges, which include but are not limited to, learning disabilities, autism, strokes, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease.
DIRFloortime is both a technique and a philosophy that is child-led. Following the child’s lead is a way to understand the child’s emotional viewpoint and the first step to bringing the child from an insular world into a shared world. After a child is brought into a shared world, the therapist can then start to introduce challenges to help the child master the fundamentals of relating, communicating and thinking with the ultimate goal of helping them be empathetic, creative, logical, reflective individuals.
Brain Gym is a movement based learning program. Regularly using Brain Gym activities will enhance the quality of attention and concentration, motor coordination, handwriting skills, memory, organization skills.
Astronaut Training can be helpful for children with balance, sensory issues or coordination disorders. It is designed to stimulate and integrate the vestibular, visual, and auditory systems. Children with vestibular processing dysfunction have poor motor coordination skills, may have poor balance, and be fearful of movement.
We utilize the method developed by Sonia Somar: Yoga for the Special Child®. Yoga is a powerful tool for children to address problems with self-regulation, attention and body awareness. Yoga can be practiced in the classroom and home to address children’s sensory needs without using equipment. For most children in therapy with us, the classes will be one on one with the yoga teacher.