Here’s a fascinating article on new research that shows that premature babies use their tactile sense to “see” objects and can distinguish between shapes. We know that premies are more likely to have sensory processing issues than full-term babies because the infant enters the world before his neurological system is developed to the degree it would be developed if she were full-term. If our kids feel bombarded by confusing, intense sensory information, imagine how a premie must feel and how difficult it must be for their young brain to process it all!
Monthly Archives: February 2010
I commented on today’s New York Times article on handwriting, OT, and schools. The spin really bothered me because OT for handwriting isn’t an enrichment class or a frivolity that wealthy parents indulge in so their kids will get into a good college. In fact, OT for handwriting serves two purposes. First, of course, it helps those kids for whom handwriting is such a struggle that it prevents them from expressing themselves in writing unless they have access to a keyboard. In fact, sometimes, OTs will recommend a keyboard (assistive technology) for a child with severe handwriting issues in order to make writing (composing) easier, separating out the skill of handwriting so that can be worked on at a pace the child can handle.
Second, school OTs who are sensory smart may well notice that the child with handwriting issues has sensory issues that are interfering with this task: visual processing issues, poor body awareness, and so on. Handwriting involves many skills, and the ones at play may be a problem in other areas for the child as well. Undiagnosed sensory issues can make it difficult to read and copy off the blackboard, play comfortably on the playground, and tolerate the hustle and bustle in the hallways.
Yes, parents can do “homework” that’s fun to help their child with sensory issues and handwriting but guidance and therapy from a trained professional are hardly indulgences!!!
I loved this interview with Temple Grandin, advocate for people with autism, bestselling author, and designer of half of the cattle handling facilities in the U.S. It was an honor to have her write the foreword to Raising a Sensory Smart Child and learn what she had to say specifically about sensory issues and autism.