Lexicon Rainbow introduces Sensory Integration Therapy


What is Sensory Integration Therapy? Are you giving it correctly to your child?


Lexicon Rainbow Therapy and Child Development Centre is a multidisciplinary team of speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, special educators,s and ABA therapists making these services easily accessible to parents and their children under one roof. The team now provides Sensory Integration Therapy as well among other therapies.

Sensory Integration is the ability to receive information from the environment using our 5 senses (actually 8), organize it within our body, and act accordingly. A simple example of sensory integration is to ignore the vehicle honking while speaking to someone, knowing that someone is peeling an orange around you, or trying to balance yourself immediately when you stumble upon a stone unexpectedly.


Some adults and children show sensory issues. We all have our sensory preferences, preference to wear only soft clothes or only full sleeves/pants, not like too loud sounds, pacing while learning, playing with your hair strands while thinking, or greeting friends at a distance vs a hug. Some children find hair trimming extremely upsetting, cover ears even for day-to-day sounds, are fearful of swings, and are extremely cautious while descending stairs or stomping their feet while walking.


So, we all have our own sensory baseline for tolerating particular sensory stimulation from the environment. They become a sensory issue when they start interfering with your daily routine. Eg: A child’s need to move constantly causes him difficulty to focus, the visual need of spinning objects or toys prevents him from participating in shared or pretending to play with a friend, or not allowing hair trimming and/or combing can make one look shabby. A cluster of such sensitivities or seeking behavior is termed sensory processing disorders or sensory processing issues.



PREVALENCE

The prevalence is as high as 1 in 20 to 1 in 6.25 children in the US general population. There need not necessarily be an accompanying diagnosis to these issues. It can occur independently without any diagnosis too.

WHO NEEDS IT?

These sensory issues are usually reported in autistic children, ADHD kids, global development delay, or cerebral palsy. These issues can further hamper the other development domains like speech, motor, or social development as the child is constantly looking for opportunities to satisfy his sensory needs or avoid overwhelming situations due to sensitivities.

These issues can be resolved by Sensory Integration Therapy. This is imparted by an occupational therapist certified in Sensory Integration Therapy.

WHAT A PARENT SHOULD KNOW?

· An Occupational Therapist certified in Sensory Integration Therapy is licensed to do this therapy. Having a therapist with an experience in this field will be effective.

· It is not a tabletop therapy. Many parents are misled into their child undergoing just fine motor skills-based tabletop activities such as Sensory Integration Therapy.

· A Sensory Integration Therapy room will always have suspensions and equipment suspended from it for use during therapy like a platform swing, tube swing, trapeze, and lycra swing to name a few

· This therapy is never passive. A good Sensory Integration Therapist will always follow the lead of the child in order to get an “adaptive response” from the child.

· It is not just a set of fixed activities for every child but the activities depend on the Sensory Profile of the child. This is ascertained in the first visit of the child with the therapist.

· The therapy equipment used may be the same but what matters is how, when, and the intensity with which it is used. Eg: Low or high swing, fast or slow swing

· The complexities of activities are increased as the child shows progress to attain targeted skills at different levels of the Sensory Pyramid.

· It comes across as just “play” to parents but there’s a lot of reason and planning for the child done by the therapist during a therapy session.

· A good therapist will always give you a “Sensory Diet” to be followed at home at regular intervals. These are set of sensory activities to be incorporated into the child’s daily routine to make his participation more productive. Eg: Movement activities before study time or a speech session

(Dr. Isha Soni is a licensed Senior Occupational Therapist and a Certified Sensory Integration Therapist from the University of Southern California with over 13 years of work experience)


More About Dr. Isha Soni :

Dr. Isha Soni,

Centre Head and Senior Occupational Therapist

She is a founding member of the Lexicon Rainbow School and Child Development Centre. She is a certified Sensory Integration therapist from the University of Southern California, the USA, and a Bachelor’s of Occupational therapy from Seth GS Medical College and KEM hospital, Mumbai, India. She has been among the University and college toppers during the course of her graduation. She has many additional certifications in therapeutic techniques and approaches like Handwriting Without Tears, Brain Gym, Decoding Autism, Social Thinking Program, and Teletherapy Practices. She is also an internationally certified Play Therapist.

During the pandemic, teletherapy practice enabled her to impart therapy to children and educate their families within India and abroad in countries like Singapore, Dubai, Sweden, France, and Australia to name a few.


With an experience of over 12 years in the field of child development therapy, she feels that there is a real need for people to shun all the taboos and reach out to a specialist to get the right information and guidance. She has led many multidisciplinary teams and therapy centers in Pune to have services accessible to parents under one roof. While keeping a child's development and consistent progress as the topmost priority, she leads the way in training parents and working playfully with a toddler to an incredibly gawky adolescent.