Pediatricians Raise Caution on Sensory Based Therapy
[Source: Reuters Health via the Chicago Tribune]
Occupational therapy for kids who are over- or under-sensitive to sound, touch or other senses could help improve their symptoms — but parents and doctors should be careful not to miss an underlying disorder in those children, pediatricians said today.
So-called sensory integration therapy, in which occupational therapists use brushes, swings, balls, music and other tools to help kids adapt to external stimuli, has been controversial among doctors.
One issue is whether kids who are overly sensitive to noise, for example, actually have problems with pathways in their brains involved in processing and responding to sound — or if that’s just one sign of a developmental disorder, such as autism.
“That’s the concern — sensory processing disorder might just be a symptom of another underlying developmental problem,” said Dr. Michelle Zimmer, from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, who co-wrote new guidelines on sensory integration therapy for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“It actually could be that working with an occupational therapist is helpful, but the only caution is that we would like to diagnose the other underlying disorders that go along with sensory problems,” she told Reuters Health.
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PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.