Episode 47 – Sensory Processing

Most of us parents don’t really mind a picky eater or when our kid is a little too sensitive to touch, sound, or light. Sometimes we may get frustrated when our child won’t pay attention or can’t sit still. But what do we do when these differences make it difficult for our child to keep up with day-to-day activities? When it affects their ability to engage with friends or family at home, in school, or even on the playground? In this episode, our guest sheds light on these sensory processing issues and dives deeper into the strategies occupational therapists use to help make everyday life easier and more functional for our children.

David Jereb is an occupational therapist and co-owner of Move About Therapy Services and Sense Ability, pediatric occupational therapy clinics in the Hills District of Sydney and the central coast of New South Wales in Australia. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science Occupational Therapy and a Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Sydney. Dave has worked in multidisciplinary teams in Sydney and Chicago and is known for having expertise in working with children with challenging behaviours, sensory processing challenges, regulatory difficulties, and difficulties in engaging and relating, including autism spectrum disorders. he has presented workshops entitled “Connecting with Kids with ASD” and “A Dynamic Approach to Regulation and Behavior”. Dave enjoys mentoring therapists, both within his two clinics and externally. He does believe in lifelong learning and always seeks to learn more about himself and is also the co-author of the Move About Activity Cards, a resource that provides children and families with physical activities to support attention and regulation.

Key Learnings

Tune in to our conversation and learn about:

  • How Dave got into occupational therapy and the caring or helping field
  • What occupational therapy is and what occupational therapists work with
  • Sensory processing and sensory processing difficulties
  • Different types of sensory processing difficulties and how they look like in a home, school,
    or playground scenario
  • How can parents know when to seek out help or consult with an occupational therapist
    What typically happens during an OT assessment
  • How OTs make therapy sessions not just fun and motivating but also engaging and
    meaningful for the kids – whether it’s involving swings, slides, ball pits, ropes, rescuing
    superheroes, and many more
  • Stories of how occupational therapy has not just helped kids walk or write better but also
    have a far-reaching positive impact on their life and their family’s life
  • Things to keep in mind for parents with kids who wriggle a lot in their seats, lay on the
    ground all the time, or just can’t sit still
  • What sensory diets are and how these can help set their bodies up for success
  • How we as adults can also observe our own sensory regulation to understand our kids’
    sensory processing challenges better
  • Understanding the journey from childhood to adulthood for a person with sensory
    processing difficulties

Take Home Messages for Parents, Carers, or Educators who might have Concerns for their
Kids’ Sensory Processing Abilities:

  1. Know that kids are doing their best, but sometimes their bodies may react differently to
    yours or mine.
  2. We need to be patient and we need to read the clues that their bodies are giving us.
  3. You can seek out help from someone and just ask them questions without having to sign
    up for a lifetime of therapy.

Quotes

“These sensory processing differences mean they’re uniquely good at something. It’s not that we want to take these away (sensory processing difficulties) from them, we just want them to be as adaptable and flexible as they can in the world to be able to feel comfortable in a range of environments, and they can enjoy daily life better.”

Links

The Star Institute – https://www.spdstar.org/
The Traffic Jam in My Brain – https://sensorytools.net/collections/workshops
Move About Therapy Services – http://www.moveabout.com.au/

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PODCAST DISCLAIMER

Any information and links presented within the Chatabout Children™ with Sonia Bestulic podcast are aimed to provide general information and advice only.
Information is to be used at the discretion of the consumer/ listener. The information presented does not replace or substitute the expert advice received from a direct consultation with the relevant qualified professional.

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