Sensory Integration
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Sensory Integration - Blog

This section deals with sensory issues, sensory integration, sensory processing disorders as they relate to autism, ASD and Aspergers. Everything from household chores for your child with special needs, to toys and play products that can help them develop gross motor skills.

What is a sensory diet?

A sensory diet, first created by occupational therapists Wilbarger and Wilbarger (1991) , is an individualized plan of physical activities and accommodations to help a person meet their sensory needs. This plan provides the sensory input needed to stay focused and organized throughout the day. For example, some people may feel overwhelmed or overloaded and need to get to a…

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Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood – Part 2

This blog post is the second part of Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood– Part 1. It is a continuation on the theme of what we do now to support children can lead to positive outcomes in adulthood. Sensory Issues Sensory processing involves seven systems: Tactile (touch) Vestibular (balance) Proprioception (body awareness) Visual (sight) Auditory (hearing) Gustatory (taste) Olfactory (smell) Difficulties…

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Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood – Part 1

When a child is diagnosed with autism, parents begin to worry about the child’s future. Will their child be independent? What will happen to them once school ends? Will there be jobs or further educational opportunities? Teachers and therapists also work to provide the skills foundation that will lead to future success and meet the goals of the parent and…

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Playing Outdoors: Building Skills, Exploring and Creating Memories for Autistic Children

When you think of your fondest childhood memories, they are probably about something you did outdoors. Maybe it was camping, going to the beach, playing in a tent or sandbox, having a game of flashlight tag, learning badminton, or swimming in a lake. Playing outdoors builds physical health, provides exposure to vitamin D, supports cognitive and emotional/social development, improves sensory…

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Embedding Skill Building Activities into Daily Routines and Activities for Autistic Children

The current COVID-19 situation has caused many programs, schools, preschools and daycares to temporarily close their doors. Services are also on hold such as occupational and speech therapy. This has caused many parents to feel anxious that their child may regress with their development. If parents are hoping for a diagnostic assessment, the additional wait times will be increased under…

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Interoception and Autism: Body Awareness Challenges for Those with ASD

Most of us know about the seven senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, vestibular, and proprioception. There is also a lesser-known sense, the eighth sense, called interoception. This sense helps a person understand what is going on inside of the body like hunger, thirst, feeling hot or cold, fatigue, or a full bladder. It also affects the ability to…

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Toy Treasures: Making Toys and Games from Recycled Items

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.

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Does my child have sensory processing disorder?

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…

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Inclusive Design – Creating Spaces to Accommodate Sensory Issues in ASD

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.

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