Course

Motor Issues in Children with Sensory Dysfunction

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Children with sensory dysfunction are frequently referred to physical therapy with family concerns of poor coordination, weakness, hypo/hypertonia, impaired balance and difficulty with motor skills. They are often labeled as awkward, lazy or clumsy, and have difficulty physically keeping up with their peers, or performing basic tasks such as running, jumping, & stairs.

Therapists are aware that the difficulty with these skills is related to sensory dysfunction, but the sensory-based element of movement is an area that often eludes physical therapists, resulting in frustrating interactions and inferior outcomes. However, synthesizing gross motor function with a sensory system foundation can improve outcomes for this population.

This course provides practical insight into therapeutic interaction with children with both sensory system & gross motor dysfunction. Intervention strategies are provided, with the purpose of utilizing the sensory systems to effect change in gross motor performance.

This course does NOT aim to teach sensory processing integration therapy.

Rather, it proposes how various essential components of “sensory-aware” intervention may be combined to facilitate purposeful effective results in the context of physical therapy treatment sessions.

The practical application of didactic information by way of simple techniques address the following obstacles to efficient gross motor performance:

  • Sensory dysfunction
  • Insufficient postural control
  • Foundational weakness
  • Instability & related poor mobility & incoordination
  • Poor motor planning

Objectives :

  1. Describe interdependent dynamics of sensory systems as they relate to gross motor function.
  2. Identify specific areas of sensory dysfunction in children referred to physical therapy for gross motor challenges.
  3. Learn how to apply skilled clinical reasoning in sensorimotor therapeutic interventions.
  4. Develop sensory-based strategies to increase postural control, strength, coordination, motor planning, stability & mobility.
  5. Explain evidence based rationale for chosen therapeutic techniques to improve caregiver, team and administrative communication & understanding.

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