Adults & Adolescents
Receiving therapy as an infant or child is often helpful for the entire family, but what happens when that child grows into and adolescent or adult and has continued or new sensory processing symptoms? At Sensory KIDS we work with adolescents and adults who are new to intervention to develop strategies for coping with SPD. For those who have had therapy in the past but are having increased symptoms, a “tune up” may be helpful to increase self-understanding or learn techniques to help adapt to new or different situations.
The assessment process starts with sensory questionnaires and a thorough history form so we can begin to understand your individual needs, goals, and strengths. These self-report measures allow your therapist to individualize your assessment and begin to focus on your specific sensory differences from the moment you enter the clinic. During the initial assessment your therapist may ask you to complete test items that assess gross-, fine-, and visual-motor abilities, as well as responses to sensory input. These sensory items will be used to assess your ability to process input to all of your sensory systems, including vestibular (movement), proprioceptive (joint movement and force), and interoceptive (internal systems, e.g. thirst, hunger, sleep/wake cycle, and emotion processing).
Assessments and intervention sessions for adults and adolescents take place in our smaller treatment areas, separate from our spaces for our sensory kids. When possible, we prefer to schedule adult sessions during less busy times of day. If you have timing preferences, due to sensory needs, please inform our staff and will we do what we can to accommodate your needs.
We understand that sensory processing and regulatory disorders can stand in the way of successfully performing daily life skills, including developing and maintaining relationships. Occupational therapy can address specific needs and significantly improve function and well-being for adults. Evidence shows that brain development continues throughout the lifespan, and therefore our intervention may include teaching sensory integration therapy techniques that you can use at home. These techniques will be individualized and designed to provide rich sensory experiences that are hypothesized to support the growth of new neural pathways and the development of productive daily routines.
Gaining knowledge and understanding of your specific sensory differences can be a powerful way to improve your daily functioning, your ability to relate to others, and you ability to find joy in life. You therapist will help you understand your sensory differences and work with you to set up a program that supports your needs. We encourage family members to be involved in the process whenever possible. This allows improved understanding of individual differences, and allows family members to be an active part of creating a sensory lifestyle.
Signs to Look For
If the following signs are severe enough to disrupt your ability to interact with others or your environment, or if many of these sound familiar, you may be having sensory or regulatory challenges.
- Anxious in public places, especially if crowded or noisy
- Difficulty concentrating in over-stimulating work environment
- Dislike being touched or held
- Can’t seem to calm down
- Distracted by background noise
- Dislike baths or grooming
- Poor sleep patterns
- Avoid eye contact, difficulty focusing on objects or people
- Upset by sudden or unexpected movement
- Difficulty tolerating new foods
- Decreased tolerance of sunlight or bright lights
- Sensitive to sounds others don’t seem to be bothered by
- Difficulty engaging in social situations; spend most of the time as an observer, don’t interact much with others
- Feel overwhelmed or exhausted when over stimulated
- Easily startled by unexpected touch or sound