We will have a booth setup at the Westfield Spring Fling Event on Sunday May 1st. This is the first time the event is being put on since 2019 and is being organized by the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Westfield Corporation.

Center Street between North Avenue and Broad Street in Westfield will be transformed into a virtual shopping pavilion of artists, retailers, and culinary delights along with non-stop entertainment and a Kid Zone packed with rides and activities.

At our booth we will have sensory games for the kids, and promotional giveaways. We are hard at work getting everything ready for Sunday, including printing our own t-shirts at home for the team to wear during the event.

The event will be open from 10am to 5pm, and it's looking like the weather is going to cooperate. We hope to see you on Sunday!

Alta Pediatrics is a Pediatric Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy Clinic located in Scotch Plains, NJ.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) condition causes problems with the way your ears process sound. This can affect people of all ages, but it's most common in children and young adults. It's a mental disorder that affects how your brain responds to acoustic sounds. The disorder causes problems with spoken, sung, or whispered words. With APD, you can't understand what people are saying because your ears don't hear the sounds correctly. Thus one has challenges carrying out simple tasks like hearing people in the room or understanding conversation.

How Auditory Processing Disorder affects kids

Auditory Processing Disorder affects children in many different ways. It can affect how you hear sounds, how you process sound, and how you understand language. Children with APD often have trouble distinguishing between higher and lower frequencies, understanding patterns, and recognizing words. It affects all ages; kids and adults. Kids with APD often have problems understanding speech, listening to music, and hearing words. That can make you feel very uncomfortable when taking instructions or participating in a conversation. For a child, they may appear isolated, and if not well handled, the young one may end up in depression. Therefore, caretakers must be aware of the child's condition and help them go through that season to receive corrective treatment. 

What causes Auditory Processing Disorder?

No definitive answer to this question. However, a few things are often associated with Auditory Processing Disorder. These include a lack of hearing in one or both ears, difficulty understanding words and sentences, and difficulty carrying out simple tasks like hearing people in the room or understanding conversation.

How Audiometric Testing Can Help Diagnose Auditory Processing Disorder

Audiometric testing is a common method used to diagnose Auditory Processing Disorder. This test measures how well your ears hear spoken, sung or whispered words. Audiometric testing is typically done during an interview or a normal conversation. The test can determine if you have APD and help you understand what people are saying.

How to treat Auditory Processing Disorder.

No "one-size-fits-all" answer to how to treat Auditory Processing Disorder. It depends on the specific situation and the person's abilities. However, some common treatments can help kids with APD. One treatment is called Auditory Stimulation. This therapy uses sounds to improve your hearing. Another common treatment is called Auditory Deprivation. A type of therapy that involves leaving your ears unheated for a certain amount of time each day. This helps improve your hearing so that you can better hear acoustic sounds.

What You Can Do to Improve Hearing for a kid who has APD.

With APD, a few things can be done to improve the child's hearing. First, make sure they are getting enough sleep. Kids with APD often have trouble concentrating during the day, and they're more likely to fall asleep without listening to music or spoken word. Make sure they listen to calming sounds before bed and avoid noisy environments. To aid them in paying attention in class or during a conversation, use a headset to amplify the sound. 

Conclusion

Parents and teachers should acknowledge the reality of APD and that the behavior and symptoms are not within the kid's control. What is within their control is recognizing the problems emanating from APD and applying the strategies recommended by the teacher and people at home. 

Movement is at the heart of the human journey, and through it, we interact with the environment in ways different from other mammals. The sequence of movement through life is known as the developmental sequence or traditional motor development. It begins in the womb and proceeds in a highly predictable manner in infants and young children and is known as the traditional motor development. Humans continue to move functionally throughout a lifetime until the effects of aging alter the normalcy of movement.

Here are five ways of accessing movements to build functional outcomes in children

1. Humans have a variety of ways to move around, including moving in different planes against gravity.

Children with special needs may need to work in prone and against gravity. Many special-needs children can't complete movements because of physical/ sensory difficulties. They are unable to spend time crawling or walking. They either skipped crawling or climbed the stages quickly. Some of these kids will fall out of their chairs when at work at their desks. Could also be a lack of gross motor coordination for advanced movements like climbing and swinging without assistance. Other indicators include moving their body as a 'unit' and not in a segmented way. Some tips to help include working on crawling and obstacle courses in prone.

2. Look at movement in the transverse plane.

How do the planes of movement influence our ability to crossbody midline and make decisions? Aligning your hips, rotating at your waist every time you assess a student. Every time you ask a student to do something, they should do it the same way and look for their ability to move the top of their body apart from the bottom.

3. The tongue and chewing movement is a common problem that young children suffer from.

Take the time to help your children reach midline crossing on their demands for tomorrow. When children struggle with midline crossing, they are often more likely to eat out of habit. Since we treat the 'whole child, we must understand the impact of diminished ability to move in all planes in every area. A child's functional outcome depends on it!

4. Look at the eyes for the ability to track items around.

Child tracking throughout the visual fields with both eyes is an excellent way to help children see easily. If you ever note nystagmus (recurrent, uncontrolled movements), a referral to a physician is always needed. Often children will complain of headaches, fidget, and fuss, have watery eyes and struggle when reading if their eyes are not working perfectly together. It's an excellent way to help children see easily.

5. Assess balance, posture, and ability to move the body in specific ways.

Assessment tools like tape rolling and the balance beam can help students assess their movement patterns. To do this, they need to walk on the taped line in different ways. Check ability to walk toe-to-toe is also a good tool for identifying student Earthworm behavior. It's a fun way to explore new things and get more experience with an activity you're not used to.

Conclusion

Teachers and those who interact with young children must understand ways of assessing movement to build functional outcomes. That allows them to understand how to treat the young ones, especially those with special needs.

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you better understand sensory processing disorder.

1. What is sensory processing disorder?

This is a condition that affects the ability of the brain to receive sensory information and how it receives and responds to it. At the moment, SPD is not identified as a medical diagnosis. People with Sensory Processing Disorder are usually overly sensitive to things in their environment and may find most things overwhelming. While sensory processing disorder is more prevalent in children, it affects adults too.

It is also seen in developmental conditions like autism.

2. Is sensory processing disorder hereditary?

Research says that the condition can be inherited. It is coded in the child’s gene and runs in families. The genetic influence of the condition can be moderate to strong, however, environmental factors can also influence it.

Birth risks or trauma during birth can also cause SPD. A good example is injuries caused by doctors and nurses during delivery, which lead to the loss of smell, sight, and other critical sensory functions.

Poor prenatal care and restrictions in a child’s early life could also lead to SPD.

3. Does SPD go away?

For most people, SPD resolves on its own and can improve as the child matures. In some cases, the condition can get milder and less impactful on an individual’s life. In some cases, it does not go away, and individuals have to compensate.

For instance, if you are sensitive to noise, you can avoid working in noisy places such as malls. Other coping mechanisms include choosing a location that does not affect sensory input. For instance, a child that is oversensitive to smell can stay away from kitchens. Visually distracted children can face away from traffic to help them focus on what they are doing.

Some parents give their children fidget toys or sensory toolkits, which can include things like sunglasses.

4. What are the symptoms of sensory processing disorder?

SPD affects senses such as smell, hearing, taste, and touch. It can affect one of the senses or multiple senses. The symptoms exist in a spectrum, meaning that the degree varies with individuals. Some of the common symptoms of SPD include being clumsy, being picky with foods, having a low pain threshold, feeling that light is too bright, or sounds are too loud.

Some SPD symptoms are linked to poor motor skills, low muscle tone, and language delays.

5. How is sensory processing disorder treated?

Sensory processing disorder is treated through therapy. Early therapy is recommended, to effectively manage SPD. Occupational therapists employ a wide range of strategies such as sensory integration to help their patients manage SPD from their early stages of life.

Another approach used is a sensory diet which involves a set of school and home activities designed to help the child to remain focused and organized. This approach is customized based on individual needs.

Conclusion

In some cases, SPD doesn’t completely go away. However, it is possible to lead a normal life with it. Working with therapists will help your child learn how to react to certain stimuli for improved quality of life.

Infant Feeding

While it may seem obvious to many, feeding time can be stressful and challenging for some infants. Difficulty chewing food, swallowing food, gagging on food, being fussy during feeding time, and vomiting after having food are signs that the infant needs feeding therapy.

Such behavior limits the child’s ability to enjoy mealtime experience, eat and meet their nutritional needs. Through Pediatric Occupational Therapy, several skills and behaviors can be developed to help the infant progress with eating various foods. Infant feeding therapy includes:

1. Evaluating the feeding infant’s history

The therapy seeks to identify emotional, cognitive, sensory, and oral feeding milestones not met by a child. The evaluation comprises a defined and complete assessment of the child’s feeding history as reported by the parent and observed by the physician.

This includes the experience of the child-eating certain meals and can narrow down to the meal and feeding behavior of the child the past few days. For children with aspiration, the therapists can even ask for a copy of a swallow study.

The evaluation may also assess the current diet, in-home mealtime picture, cultural considerations, and concerns raised by the caregiver.

2. Development of hierarchy of the child’s feeding skills and behavior

Some of the skills therapists focus on include chewing, swallowing, and even oral motor exercises. The goal is also to change the infant’s behavior around new types of foods or certain foods. The treatment approach is based on the findings of the evaluation and their method of administering treatment.

Therapists use a wide range of motor, behavioral, and sensory models depending on the best fit for a child. Examples of the approaches they use include the “Get Permission.” The approach is based on the principle of building a trusting feeding relationship. The therapist, in this case, reads the child’s cues and takes action as the child gives permission. This relies on body language.

There is also the Beckman Oral Motor approach employed in cases where the infants have motor barriers. This is to enhance their response to movement to support feeding. The Behavioral Approach relies on a reward system whereby they are rewarded when they take a bite of food.

3. Examples of infant feeding goals

Parents who seek infant feeding therapy have various goals. The evaluation of an infant’s feeding history and development of the hierarchy of feeding skills and behavior are designed to achieve goals such as:

Conclusion

Parents with infants that exhibit food selectivity, mealtime tantrums, difficulty biting, chewing, or swallowing food and liquid intake can benefit from feeding therapy. It involves an evaluation of the child’s feeding behavior and treatment to achieve goals like reduced tantrums, acceptance of new diets, and better movement and coordination of the mouth to enable feeding.

1801 East 2nd Street Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

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