Written by Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
With so much discussion in the realm of treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), we find that there is little research to support many of the techniques, protocols, or methods used. If you are an occupational therapist (OT) you find that you use the methodology you were taught, enhanced by the things you have learned from attending continuing education courses, picked up ideas from co-workers, or just used your creativity to find something that works through experience to address a sensory need for a child. And you find it to be effective by the changes noted in the child’s underlying neurological system, so you use it. This is seen with treatments such as listening programs, spinning and brushing protocols, and the use of weighted items. It is known that if two individuals demonstrate issues in the same sensory areas, their needs, behaviors, and treatments are going to be different. That is why OTs are known for using their little “tricks” be make treatment be successful, regardless of the research. If you are a parent, caregiver, or teacher you have seen the effects of some of these treatment techniques making a difference in the life of your child who is now more regulated, able to tolerate a movement he or she once couldn’t, attend better in school, or even sleep better at night.