The Out-of-Sync Child: Understanding and Coping with
Sensory Processing Disorder:
“Out-of-Sync Child” presentations may be as short as a one-hour keynote speech or as long as a 12-hour course over two days. The topics discussed in a typical six-hour course are outlined here. They may be lengthened, shortened, and otherwise tweaked to meet the needs of the audience.
Course Descriptions and Objectives
First Session — Sensory Processing
Sensory processing is the neurological process of organizing information about ordinary sensations that we get from our body and environment to use in daily life. It involves eight sensory systems of touch, sight, sound, smell, taste, movement and balance, body position, and internal organs.
Objective 1) Explain how sensory processing develops as we grow, affecting everything we do and making it possible to function as active participants in daily life.
Objective 2) Describe the eight sensory systems.
Second Session — Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Many children with SPD, who may or may not be on the autistic spectrum, withdraw from physical contact, refuse to participate in typical classroom and playground activities that their peers enjoy, or respond in an unusual way to ordinary sensations of touch, movement, sight and sound. These children don’t behave as we expect – not because they won’t, but because they can’t. Sensory Processing Disorder may be the cause of their out-of-sync behavior.
Objective 1) Explain the three major categories of SPD: sensory modulation disorder, sensory discrimination disorder, and sensory-based motor disorders.
Objective 2) Recognize characteristics of tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive, visual, and auditory dysfunction and how these difficulties affect children’s ability to self-regulate, learn, socialize, communicate, work and play.
Objective 3) Describe conditions often associated with SPD, such as poor visual discrimination and nutritional deficits.
Third Session — Identifying and Treating SPD
Not only OTs, but also parents and teachers can identify signs of SPD by recognizing characteristics and by having children screened at centers and schools. Recent research and the most appropriate treatments, such as occupational therapy using a sensory integration approach (OT-SI), will be discussed. In small groups, participants will read about an imaginary child with sensory challenges and will consider most appropriate ways to support the child (as well as the family and teachers).
Objective 1) Describe ways that teachers, parents, and non-OTs can identify SPD in children.
Objective 2) Discuss several current research studies.
Objective 3) Describe various therapies.
Objective 4) Problem-solve with others about ways to support a child.
Fourth Session — Kids Gotta Move!
Fun, functional, hands-on, body-on, three-dimensional activities help children with SPD, autism, and other developmental delays (as well as typical schoolmates) to develop and enhance sensory and perceptual motor skills. Using simple equipment such as paper plates, plastic bottles, and bicycle inner tubes, participants will learn enjoyable strategies to get kids moving and learning.
Objective 1) Explain how movement and touch experiences are essential ingredients in every child’s day.
Objective 2) Take fun and functional, “In-Sync” sensory-motor activities back to the classroom, home, or clinic to help ALL children develop, learn, and grow.