I’ve been asked recently, “How is my service different?” My follow up question has been, “Does your child have sensory seeking behaviors like running, jumping, crashing, chewing? Does your child have focus/attention problems? Does your child have difficulty sleeping? Do you have difficulty getting proper nutrition in?” What if I just gave your child more opportunity to run, jump, crash and chew? It might satisfy the need in the moment and regulate the system TEMPORARILY. Do you battle the bedtime routine of getting them to quiet down, brush teeth, say prayers and GO TO SLEEP? Do you feel like you just wake up and repeat? Just because I may provide bean bags to crash in, swings to spin in and chewy necklaces to chew on, DOES NOT change the reason WHY that behavior is there. There is a need for sensory and motor regulation. Providing a TEMPORARY fix is a modification or accommodation. It certainly has its place in the schools and at home. However, if your expectation is PERMANENT change, then you must address the BRAINSTEM to regulate the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze). When you teach the body how to regulate itself through tactile and reflex integration you change the reason WHY the system is seeking intense sensory experiences, zoning out at school, and WHY getting to sleep and staying asleep is challenging. You change the reason WHY there is negative behavior patterns. You change the reason WHY there is emotional instability, anxiety and stress. You change the reason WHY there are gross and fine motor delays.
Most days, as adults, we regulate ourselves by going to the gym, drinking plenty of water, eating a proper diet, getting enough sleep. What happens on those days when our “to-do” list is longer than the hours I slept? What are your coping strategies? What happens when there is extra stress (bills, crisis, tragedy)? How does your system respond? We regulate ourselves. Granted, some moments are more stellar than others, but we regulate. If we don’t, we are triggered into maladaptive patterns of fight/flight or freeze. It’s not productive, but usually is temporary.
When children (or adults) have difficulty with sensory/motor processing they live in the fight/flight/freeze patterns for the majority of their day. It’s not productive and it’s exhausting, for parents too.
We are designed to thrive and designed to live predominantly in the parasympathetic nervous system (peace/calm and rest/digest). When we are living in this system, then we are able to run, jump, crash and chew just because it’s FUN and you WANNA do it, not because your system says you GOTTA do it!
What makes OT services at Pediatric Connections different? We focus on sensory motor integration through brainstem development. We address the foundation first!