Butterflies Children's Occupational Therapy Leeds is able to support families to identify any sensory difficulties their child may having which is having a functional negative impact on their life.
Sensory difficulties can be misunderstood and hard to unpick which is why we complete a detailed assessment of sensory difficulties.
It is important to know (if you do not already) that within the UK sensory processing disorder is not classified and so we are unable to give a formal diagnosis. However, the new DSM-V definition of autism  does include sensory issues as one of the four restricted/repetitive behaviour features defined as “hyper or hypo reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest
in sensory aspects of the environment.”
We are able to complete a full sensory assessment using standardised assessments and complete intervention using mobile equipment and in our new therapy space which is based in North Leeds.
Sensory integration therapy is designed to help children and young people develop their sensory processing abilities and to develop strategies to help them cope. The therapy is based on the idea that some people struggle to receive, process and make sense of information provided by the senses. For example, some children and young people are hyper-sensitive (over-sensitive) to some things such as loud noises but hypo-sensitive (under-sensitive) to other things such as pain. Children and young people can also have difficulties with their play, interactions, completing everyday activities due to difficulted with their sensory processing and praxis (ideation, planning and execution of a novel motor movement).
We assess a child and/or young persons sensory difficulties and then develop a personalised treatment programme in which we use the most appropriate techniques and tools to overcome those difficulties. Sensory integration therapy can involve a combination of different elements such as wearing a weighted vest, using sensory integration swings, riding a scooter board, sitting on a bouncy ball, experiencing 'crash and bump' and other similar activities.
We all have different sensory needs. Sensory integration is about how our brain receives and processes sensory information so that we can do the things we need to do in our everyday life. It is a neurological process that occurs within all of us. Children, adolescents and adults with sensory dysfunction may have have the following difficulties which are having a negative impact on their everyday life, such as:
As well as difficulties related to movement and co-ordination, children can also have other problems such as:
Most commonly a high percentage of children with autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, OCD and other developmental delays will have sensory difficulties, alongside other children who do not have a formal diagnosis.
Sensory integration therapy uses play activities in ways designed to change how the brain reacts to touch, sound, sight and movement.
We are able to assess your child using Ayres Sensory Integration approach using sensory assessment and can provide intervention within our dedicated therapy space in North Leeds.
You may of heard of Developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD). This has been suggested to be a subcomponent of praxis difficulties meaning it could be linked to a dysfunctional sensory foundation (as discussed above). In some cases there are children who have a functional sensory foundation and have difficulties with the pure motor components of completing an activity, and who would require a different approach for intervention.
Butterflies Occupational Therapy will complete a comprehensive assessment based on your young persons / adolescents everyday difficulties.
If required we have the Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (MABC2) which is the gold standard in testing, which would be used alongside sensory assessments (standardised and non-standardised). The MABC2 can be completed for children aged 3-16 years old. From there a formal report would be written which can be shared with relevant agencies as well as a plan of recommended intervention.
These sessions work well in school in which it is difficult to engage the pupils due to their difficulties.
This approach is blended with environment assessment, classroom observation and standardised assessment tools.
Sensory Processing Difficulties assessment is completed with the children who can engage with a more formal assessment structure.
Current research is suggesting that praxis challenges can have a detrimental affect on behaviour. If demands are too high for a student their arousal levels will increase and their behaviour can decrease. This can impact on their ability to access education, self esteem and mental health. We provide specialist input and training to schools and staff to support students with this.