Written By: Michele Alaniz, BCP, OTR/L
Sensory integration refers to the process by which the brain organizes and interprets information from the senses. This process is essential for the development of motor, cognitive, and social skills. Sensory integration difficulties can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to function in daily life. As such, it is crucial to identify these difficulties and develop a plan to address them. My three-step sensory integration framework is designed to do just that. The framework involves a thorough assessment, the identification of individual sensory patterns, and the planning of appropriate treatment targets based on these factors.
The first step in the framework is the assessment. This step involves gathering information about the child’s sensory processing abilities. It is important to understand the child’s specific strengths and weaknesses in order to develop an effective treatment plan. The assessment should be comprehensive and may include a variety of tools, such as standardized assessments, observations, and interviews with parents and caregivers.
The second step in the framework is the identification of specific sensory patterns for the individual child. This step involves analyzing the information gathered in the assessment to identify the child’s unique neurology and how to most effectively structure the sensory environment and sensorimotor activities. This analysis may involve identifying the child’s sensory preferences, sensitivities, and/or aversions. It is important to understand how the child processes sensory information in order to develop an effective treatment plan.
The final step in the framework is the identification of appropriate treatment targets based on the child’s specific sensory patterns. Treatment targets are the adaptive response expected based on the intervention. These targets should be specific, measurable, and achievable. Treatment targets may include improving the child’s engagement, play interactions, or their motor skills. The goals of the intervention should be tailored to the individual child’s needs and abilities.
One example of how this framework might be applied is for a child with autism. His assessment reveals he has delayed motor skills, including poor manual dexterity, weak core trunk muscles, and poor bilateral coordination. He presents as under-responsive to sensory input. He is a slow-moving kiddo, who does not easily engage with his environment. He has a collapsed posture and limited engagement skills. He would like to learn to ride a bike and his parents would like to see him be able to participate in recess more successfully. The treatment targets include eliciting the following adaptive responses: an optimal arousal level, upright posture during movement, improved balance responses, and improved projected action sequence.
To learn how to implement this plan, check out my webinar on August 5th, Sensory Integration Roadmap! Overall, my three-step sensory integration framework is designed to help professionals identify and address sensory processing difficulties in children. By conducting a thorough assessment, identifying specific sensory patterns, and setting appropriate treatment targets, professionals can develop an effective intervention plan tailored to the individual child’s needs and abilities. This framework can help children develop the skills they need to function in daily life and reach their full potential.
Explore online continuing education courses from Michele below:
Visit summit-education.com for more information.