There is now a body of evidence which shows that children who have experienced poor parenting or trauma in infancy are likely to have sensory processing and developmental difficulties of some kind and varying in degrees of severity and as part of our assessment process, our Paediatric Occupational therapist (OT) carries out an initial health, developmental and sensory processing screening. A full OT assessment is then provided looking in more depth at sensory motor skills, visual perception, activities of daily living and sensory processing in the context of developmental trauma, if indicated.
Family Futures recognise that there is a hierarchy of neuro-physiological developmental stages through which children need to progress. If they have not been able to develop age appropriate sensory processing then their capacity for engaging in other forms of therapy and in learning at school will be impaired. For this reason, our treatment programme often begins with a sensory processing module which parents and children can carry out at home and school as well as at Family Futures. The sensory integration elements are integrated and woven into the treatment programme as it progresses and develops and is closely tied into our Education Programme.
Following the Sensory Integration assessment a sensory diet will be devised for home and school and the brief intervention will allow for some time for the parents to make sense of what this means and how they can integrate it at home and at school. It will also allow for a series of sessions during which the OT can put this sensory diet and some sensory integration treatment work into place. During these sessions there will also be regular parent review sessions to discuss the progress of the sessions and to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme.