Today Jana’s in-home-therapy was a little different. Her therapist brought in a large tub and filled it first with raw bean then again with large marshmallows. Each time she sat Jana into the tub and moved the items around her. Jana threw the beans around and liked the noise they were making. The marshmallows went instantly into her mouth and she had a blast squishing them in her hands. It was just the best thing to her! I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit in a tub full of marshmallows?! 🙂
Seems like a pretty fun therapy session right? But what was the point?
Children with Down’s (as well as Autism) often have a difficulty processing textures or touch. They usually fall into two categories:
Hyporesponsive — in spite of large amounts of sensory input, the brain fails to register and doesn’t respond to input.
Hyperesponsive — the brain “short-circuits” and registers sensations too intensely.
So Sensory Integration therapy helps the child slowly process new textures. About a month ago, Jana’s therapist brought a large bowl full of Easter Basket grass (You know that stringy stuff that seems to get EVERYWHERE). She sat Jana into this bowl and allowed her to pull at it and move her legs around. After about 3 min, Jana couldn’t take it anymore. It was just too much and she had a full melt-down. Basically she became overwhelmed by the texture and wanted out! All these new textures and exposures will eventually help Jana process new things and adapt to her environment.
Our next exercise is sitting her in her high chair with a bowl of pudding. I can already imagine the mess I will have to clean up!! 🙂