Understanding and Managing Sensory Processing Disorder | CST Academy

Understanding and Managing Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. This can lead to challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Understanding and supporting individuals with SPD is crucial for their development and well-being. CST Academy, a pioneering therapeutic preschool and therapy service provider for children with autism and diverse learning needs, offers this comprehensive guide to help families and educators better understand SPD and the effective strategies used in managing it.

Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder

SPD may affect one sense, like hearing, touch, or taste, or it can affect multiple senses. Children and adults with SPD might be over-sensitive to things in their environment, such as light, sound, and texture, or under-sensitive to sensory stimuli, needing more to feel stimulated. This condition can significantly impact daily functioning and learning, making tailored support and interventions essential.

Signs and Symptoms of SPD

Recognizing the signs of SPD can be the first step in seeking appropriate support. Common indicators include:

  • Overreaction or no reaction to textures, tastes, smells, sounds, and sights
  • Difficulty with coordination and performing fine motor tasks
  • Being unusually clumsy or having a poor sense of balance
  • Having a hard time engaging in play or social interactions

CST Academy’s Approach to Managing SPD

At CST Academy, we utilize a multidisciplinary approach to support children with SPD, integrating strategies from occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy to create a personalized plan for each child.

Occupational Therapy (OT) for SPD

Occupational therapy is at the forefront of our approach to managing SPD. Our occupational therapists specialize in sensory integration techniques that help children learn how to respond more appropriately to their sensory environment. Through OT, children engage in activities that are designed to help their brains process sensory information more efficiently, thereby improving their ability to participate in daily activities successfully.

Speech Therapy and SPD

While speech therapy is typically associated with communication skills, it also plays a crucial role in addressing the sensory processing challenges related to speech and eating. Our speech therapists work with children who have sensitivities around taste and texture, helping them to expand their diet and tolerate different types of foods, which is often a concern for children with SPD.

Physical Therapy (PT) and Sensory Integration

Physical therapy contributes to managing SPD by focusing on gross motor skills and body awareness. PT can help children who struggle with balance and coordination, which are often challenges associated with SPD. Through exercises and activities that encourage movement and physical engagement, our physical therapists help children develop a better sense of their bodies in space.

Strategies for Supporting Children with SPD at Home

Parents and caregivers play a vital role in supporting children with SPD. Simple strategies include creating a sensory-friendly home environment, using sensory toys and tools to provide the necessary sensory input, and establishing routines that incorporate sensory play. Consistency and patience are key in helping children navigate their sensory experiences.

Sensory Processing Disorder presents unique challenges, but with the right support and interventions, children with SPD can lead fulfilling lives. CST Academy is committed to providing comprehensive, personalized care for children with SPD, utilizing our expertise in occupational, speech, and physical therapies to support each child’s sensory and overall development.

If you suspect your child may have Sensory Processing Disorder or if you’re seeking support for a child with SPD, CST Academy is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our programs and how we can tailor our services to meet your child’s needs, ensuring they achieve their full potential.

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"After almost 2 years our son’s time at CST Academy has come to an end. The preschool program has done wonders for him. Ms Jaclyn is such a warm, kind and patient teacher. She and my son’s OT (Ms. Nikki) and ST (Ms. Erika) worked together to ensure he was meeting all of his goals. The level of collaboration between all therapies shows how dedicated they are to helping your child reach their full potential. They have all made such an impact on him, it’s amazing to see the changes since he started there. He has blossomed into a strong, confident boy who is more than prepared to start his new school in a few weeks. We will always fondly remember our time at CST Academy. Can’t recommend them enough!"
"I worked with CST Academy over a period of about 10 months. They are absolutely incredible! I also referred a friend to their program and the progress his child made just blew him away! Usually, I don’t write reviews unless I feel strongly compelled one way or the other, and in this case I do! You cannot go wrong here. I would not trust my children to anyone else. Call them and see for yourself. I have seen other programs and there is just no comparison."
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