“The things that make me different are the things that make me ME.”
Piglet, Winnie The Pooh
What do we mean about Sensory and Social Skills? These are skills that are essential for children to be able to engage in their world and interact with others successfully.
Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures and body language. As people, we are sociable creatures and it is considered important to our existence to communicate with one another. Sometimes that can be a challenge. Social skills are about being able to flexibly adjust our behavior to fit a particular situation and our personal needs and desires.
Some children particularly have difficulty interacting and communicating with others. Some of these children may receive a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and some may not. Regardless of a diagnosis, Occupational Therapists can assist your child with their social interaction skills.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complicated neurodevelopmental disorder which impacts on the child’s skills in communication, social interaction and play. Children with ASD frequently display challenging behaviour, difficulty with changing routine, strong interests and sensory processing difficulties. Raising a child who has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder can often seem overwhelming, however Occupational Therapy can help your child engage in daily activities within the home, school and community.
Occupational Therapists support children with their social skills or ASD through the use of a variety of methods, including Sensory Processing.
What is Sensory Processing?
Sensory processing is the way that our nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a sandwich, riding a bicycle, or sitting in class, your successful completion of the activity requires accurate processing of all your sensations.
Some children may may over-respond to their sensory information. This may mean that they find their clothes tags irritating, avoid mix textured food or cover their ears to loud sounds. These children often need a little sensation to be able to feel and respond to it.
Some children may under-respond to their sensory information. This may mean that they miss sensory clues, such as food being left on their face, seek out physical touch or make constant noises. These children often need more sensation to be able to feel and respond to it.
A child who has difficulty processing all their sensory information and use this information appropriately can have challenge participating in daily activities. They may have a diagnosis of ADHD, ASD, anxiety, motor coordination difficulties, feeding challenges, behavioural problems, difficulty integrating into school, and many more functions that are expected in childhood.
How can Sprouts Occupational Therapy Help?
An Occupational Therapy assessment may be beneficial if you have concerns regarding how your child is interacting with others, communicating, playing with other children, or regarding how they interpret the sensory information and how this is impacting on their participation in daily activities.
I want to know more…
Miriam has post graduate training in Sensory Processing, including how this impacts on behaviour, school function and feeding. Miriam is also a trained assessor for Autism Spectrum Disorder, having completed and used the ADOS-2 assessment tool significantly in her work. Miriam has worked for many years with children who have difficulties in the areas of Sensory and Social skills. If you would like more information regarding Sprouts Assessment and Treatment, please contact us.