Infants & Toddlers
Premature and medically fragile infants frequently present with developmental and maturational delays. These delays are not only seen in motor skills, but also in more subtle aspects of development, such as feeding impairments, low birth weight and growth, regulatory delays (poor sleep, difficulty calming, etc), and social-emotional skills. For most infants time spent in an intensive care unit can be overwhelming and disruptive. It may be difficult for them to calm down or to accept soothing from a parent or caregiver. These delays are not often recognized by pediatricians, or are brushed aside as something that the infant will “out grow.”
Occupational therapists at Sensory KIDS will evaluate your infant to assess delays, and how they may be impacting your child’s function, as well as your family as a whole. We will assess your child’s ability to process sensory information and to interact with his or her environment. Treatment may include parent education on positioning, engagement, early play skills, or supports for feeding. We will work with you and your child to help you recognize signs of dysregulation, and to create strategies to promote your child’s ability to self-regulate.
Starting therapy as early as possible can significantly improve your child’s function and well being. At Sensory KIDS we believe that having fun, engaging in relationship, and improving self-esteem are among the most important goals for your child. Sensory processing and regulatory disorders stand in the way of these goals and may be greatly improved through early intervention.
We will help you understand your child’s differences and individual needs, and how to best support them. Knowledge and understanding are powerful tools in helping you feel empowered and hopeful that your child will succeed and be happy.
Signs to Look For
The following signs may be seen in typical development. However, if they are severe enough to disrupt your child’s ability to interact with caregivers or his or her environment, or if many of these sound familiar, your child may be having sensory or regulatory challenges.
- Resists being held or cuddled
- Distressed by diaper changes
- Upset by baths or grooming
- Difficulty with sleep patterns
- Cries excessively (more than a half hour or hour at a time)
- Avoids eye contact, has difficulty focusing on objects or following them with eyes
- Upset by sudden movement or moving head out of upright
- Distressed by rocking motions
- Upset by movements such as swinging, bouncing, or being tossed up in the air
- Doesn’t appear to respond to name or familiar voice
- Can’t seem to calm baby down
- Difficulty breastfeeding
- Difficulty with sucking, chewing, or swallowing
- Doesn’t tolerate new foods well
- Cries inconsolably until a wet or dirty diaper is changed
- Severe separation anxiety
- Tantrums many times a day
- Upset by sunlight or bright lights
- Upset in public places, especially if crowded or noisy
- Doesn’t enjoy regular interactive movement games, i.e., peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, etc.
- Upset by dirty hands or face
- Sensitive to sounds others don’t seem to be bothered by
- Difficult to engage; is an observer, doesn’t interact with peers or adults
- Appears overwhelmed, cries, or falls asleep when over stimulated
- Refuses/distressed by certain positions, i.e., being on tummy, on back, sitting, etc.
- Upset or uncomfortable with moving in and out of positions