We had a new speaker present for us in Vancouver, BC this past weekend – occupational therapist Barbara Sher. She has written a number of great books about play and how to makes games and toys out of recycled materials. The conference delegates were asked to pick and choose items from a list to bring to the workshop. Most of us could find all of these items around home – newspapers, magazines, masking tape, string, old scarves, egg cartons, boxes, socks, beans, wool, buttons, cans, water bottles, rope etc. We then got into groups, put our heads together, and made toys and played games with these items.
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) has long been associated with autism, and its external manifestations are often what lead a parent to getting a diagnosis. For a many years SPD was seen as a “symptom” of autism, but a breakthrough study in 2013 found that this disorder had a biological basis that separated it from many other neurological disorders. More recently it was found…
We are aware of the sensory issues that people with autism have, but only recently have we realized the need to design spaces to accommodate those needs. Lights, textures, sounds, and colours can all affect a person’s well-being. Designing spaces around these needs for people with autism can be challenging because autism is a complex disorder; the needs vary greatly from person to person.
People with as ASD often carry special objects with them. These objects can vary from person to person – DVD cases, certain toys, string. I even know an adult with Asperger Syndrome who used to carry a card in his pocket from his school days that said “lunch”.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is prevalent in those with an autism diagnosis; however, it’s never been recognized as a distinct disease. In a new study from UC San Francisco, researchers have found that children affected with SPD have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other…
Author Brenda Kosky Deskin has made some great suggestions on how to modify household chores so a child with special needs can handle them. It’s important to practice chores to work towards greater independence. Some chores can also be worked into a sensory diet. Having a child do household chores makes them feel they are contributing members of the family.…
The development of gross motor skills is essential to be able to run, walk, jump, climb, and play sports. Children with special needs require supported opportunities in which to develop these skills. This article lists six items that can be used to develop gross motor skills. To source products in Canada, visit FDMT’s website.
Parent of special needs children are often placed on waiting lists for occupational therapy services. Educators can also be in the same boat, having OT consults only 2 – 3 times a year. Development of fine motor skills is important for lifelong success. They form the foundation for writing, eating, cooking, typing – even putting in a contact lens. How do you work on these skills without the help of an OT? Author Ahren Hoffman shows us how to develop fine motor skills using toys and household items.
Our Approach to Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Difficulties
Everyone experiences the world a little differently. The same person may even experience the world differently depending on their level of pain, fatigue or in response to a physical/emotional stress.
Through the work of Dr. Lucy Jane Miller of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, supported by organizations such as SPD Canada and their President Lori Fankhanel, we may see the addition of Sensory Processing Disorder in the next DSM V due out in April 2013.
During my 30 years as a pediatric occupational therapist, I have constantly searched for new ways to help make complex concepts such as sensory integration, more “user friendly”. Out of desperation a few years ago, after yet again another road trip of consultations and workshops which involved constant packing and unpacking of sensory toys and equipment, I began listening to expert advice.