Sensory processing is the ability to interpret and respond to the various stimuli we take in through the five senses on any given day. Many people, especially children, have trouble with any or all stages of sensory processing which leads to difficulty coping in their everyday lives. Experts refer to this difficulty as “sensory processing disorder.” As more and more research is performed on psychological and physiological components of sensory processing, professionals have found that highly-specific therapy can help alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those who struggle with sensory processing. Let’s discuss what sensory integration therapy looks like at McWhorter CNR.
Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder
When it comes down to it, sensory processing disorder is simply an inability to effectively interpret and respond to the various stimuli that can be taken in through the five senses. While the definition is quite simple, though, the disorder is far from it. Consider where you are as you read this: you’re visually taking in the computer or phone screen with the light and the colors and the text. You can feel the mouse or the mobile device that’s in your hand. There’s likely background noise that you’re aware of. Maybe a smell of the space you’re in. There’s a lot going on. If you don’t have trouble with sensory processing, that background noise is no big deal. You’re aware of the things that are in your hands and in use right this moment, but you’re not bothered by the feeling of the clothes on your skin, your body in the chair, or any other physical sensation.
This is where you and an individual who struggles with sensory processing differ. This is also what makes sensory processing disorder such a debilitating problem for many patients.
This sensory overload is what sensory integration therapy targets, helping patients cope with the abundance of stimuli that we’re exposed to at any given time.
How Does Sensory Integration Therapy At McWhorter CNR Work?
The premise of sensory integration therapy is to help patients develop coping skills so that the exposure to various stimuli doesn’t become overwhelming. This is done by repeated and controlled exposure of stimuli through one or more of the senses. The theory is no more complicated than “practice makes perfect.” In a controlled environment, patients are able to more easily adjust to the onset of stimuli and improve their sensory processing abilities.
At McWhorter CNR, we leverage a variety of different tools to help patients who experience any level of sensory processing difficulty take control of their symptoms. These tools include:
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - There is still research being done on the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for the treatment of sensory issues, but the theory is that HBOT will lead to an increase in cerebral perfusion.
- Near-Infrared Light Therapy - Studies done in patients with autism showed a statistically significant reduction in irritability when using low-level laser therapy over the course of a four week period.
- Neurofeedback - Neurofeedback showed a 26% average decrease in total ATEC-rated autism symptoms. The studies also featured qualitative data from parents who noted a significant decrease in anxiety and tantrums with the support of neurofeedback therapy.
At McWhorter CNR, every treatment protocol is customized to the patient. Sensory integration therapy is no exception as we strive to find the combination of therapeutic solutions that will support the patient in the long-term.
The Benefits Of Sensory Integration Therapy In Denver
As we’ve noted earlier, sensory issues can be especially debilitating considering every single thing we do comes with an abundance of stimuli for our senses. Sensory integration therapy can help patients develop the coping skills they may lack to better handle both expected and unexpected sensory overload. All of this can lead to a better quality of life for the patient and their families.
Try Sensory Integration Therapy In Denver At McWhorter CNR
Dr. McWhorter and his team of cognitive experts have all the resources you could need when struggling with sensory processing disorder. Our innovative solutions combined with cutting-edge technology make the most advanced treatments available to patients in Denver who need mental and physical support to lead their best life.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for sensory integration therapy in Denver.