There are many different ways that a therapeutic preschool program can help children who experience developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or sensory issues. Children who experience issues process sensory information are either highly sensitive or under responsive to sensory information. Children may experience sensory issues as a result of sensory processing disorder (SPD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or another condition. Every individual who experiences sensory issues experiences them in a unique way.
There are different types of therapy that can be used with children who experience sensory issues, including occupational therapy or applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA therapy). A therapeutic preschool program can be extremely beneficial in the case of sensory issues, as multiple therapy modalities can be provided in one program.
Occupational therapy in a therapeutic preschool program
Occupational therapy can be a highly effective way to help children with sensory issues. There are many different activities that can be used in occupational therapy, such as a sensory diet or sensory integration exercises. A sensory diet does not involve nutrition, but rather, exposure to different sensory information. Depending on the sensitivities of the child, a sensory diet will target different areas. For example, if a child has sensory issues with touch and textures, their sensory diet might include deep pressure with a weighted vest, joint compressions (deep pressure at joints), or brushing. If a child experiences issues with proprioception, their sensory diet might include activities that help build coordination and balance, such as jumping jacks or mountain climbers.
ABA therapy in a therapeutic preschool program
A therapeutic preschool program might provide ABA therapy services, which can help children with sensory issues to improve their sensory integration and self-regulation skills. If a child is highly sensitive to sensory information, they may respond negatively when they are exposed to certain sensory information. ABA therapy can help children to build more positive behaviors in response to sensory information. For example, if a child with sensory issues is regularly overstimulated by the classroom environment, an ABA therapist can work with that child to build strategies for self-regulation. These exercises might include breathing activities that are soothing in anxiety-provoking situations.
Many children with sensory issues can benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to therapy that includes both ABA and occupational therapy.
Learn more about sensory issues and therapeutic preschool programs
If your child experiences sensory integration issues, a therapeutic preschool program might be able to help. Click the purple button below or call 773-620-7800 to learn more about our program, CST Academy, Chicago’s #1 therapeutic preschool program, which provides many different services, including ABA therapy, feeding therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.