Each child is assessed to determine their strengths and the barriers that interfere with their growth. A program is then developed that combines the following services to best meet their needs across environments and social situations
Sensory integration (SI) is the complex neurological process by which the brain receives and interprets the sensory information we constantly receive from our environment, such as touch, sight, smell, taste, hearing, movement and balance (vestibular). SI processes create the foundation for development of self-regulation, development of motor and sensory skills, social and interaction skills, and sense of self. SI theory hypothesizes that behavior and environmental experiences can affect brain development, particularly the sensory system.
The Sensory Integration approach began with the work of Dr. Jean Ayres, in the early 1970’s. Therapeutic intervention at Leaps and Bounds is based upon the following key identifying principles of sensory integration intervention:
- evaluate and modify the sensory environment to focus on integrating tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular input
- provide intervention using play
- promote active participation of the child
- use child-directed interactions
- provide the “just right challenge”
- elicit adaptive responses
- tap into the inner drive of the child
- the child’s engagement is its own reward.
Occupational therapists at Leaps and Bounds use a variety of suspended equipment, such as swings, ladders, and a zip line to provide children with movement (vestibular) input. Movement may be fast or slow, back-and-forth, side-to-side, or in circles (rotary); depending on the child’s sensory needs.
A scooter board and ramp allow for moving through space in a variety of positions and provide linear acceleration.
Our rock climbing wall, ball pit, mountain, and other large therapeutic equipment offers heavy work (proprioceptive) and deep pressure sensations to improve body awareness.
Thick mats and extra-large pillows provide for a safe environment. Children are supported and learn to master new experiences in a fun, play-based setting.