Developmental Delays Interventions and Balance

by Patricia S. Lemer, M.Ed., NCC, M.S. Bus., Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers All living things strive for balance. Healthy organisms manifest balance by being flexible, never static. As day follows night, calm follows a storm and death comes after birth, nature maintains balance with constant change. For humans, being in balance is more difficult. For those living and working with children who have developmental delays, making balance can be a huge challenge. How do parents balance their personal needs with those of their children? How can therapists and teachers balance work and relaxation? How do we balance lesson plans and unstructured exploration? Listening with talking? Being and doing? Thinking and feeling? Giving and receiving? An endless array of balance questions confronts us every day. Bringing these choices into consciousness may help us deal with them more effectively. Here are some ideas for balancing developmental delays interventions. Balancing Food Our bodies seek a balance of flavors, textures and tastes….

Sensory Integration and Vestibular Processing: Why Is It So Critical?

By Zoe Mailloux, MA., OTR, Director, Pediatric Therapy Network, Torrance, CA Sensory integration and vestibular processing:  Of all the sensory systems that we talk about in sensory integration theory and treatment, the one that may be the most basic, yet the hardest to understand is the vestibular sense. This sensory system develops just a few weeks after conception and plays a very important role in a child’s early development.  It was also probably one of the most important senses for our evolutionary ancestors. However, the vestibular sense is not familiar to many people. Children do not learn about it when they learn about the basic sensory systems and if adults know about this system, they may only be aware that it has something to do with balance. Understanding more about the vestibular system will be helpful to a better understanding of the types of problems children may have as well as the methods we use to address these problems. As we…

The Vestibular System and Auditory Language Processing

By Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.  Excerpted from The Out-of-Sync Child: Understanding and Coping With Sensory Integration Dysfunction The vestibular system and auditory language processing: Children with vestibular dysfunction may also have auditory language processing problems. As they research their child’s disability, many parents learn about sensory integration and the importance of the body’s vestibular system, perhaps the most basic of all the sensory systems. Initially they learn that the vestibular system coordinates body movements, maintains balance and equilibrium, and helps children develop normal muscle tone. It is not as immediately apparent, though, how the vestibular system influences auditory language processing.  However, the vestibular system plays a significant role in the development of language, so that children with vestibular dysfunction may also have auditory language processing problems. It’s important to realize that the vestibular and auditory systems work together as they process sensations of movement and sound.  These sensations are closely intertwined, because they both begin to be processed in the receptors…