High Intensity Exercise as a Change Agent for Improving Self Regulation in Children with Sensory Processing Challenges
Presented by Amy Wheadon, OTD, OTR/L
Lack of movement negatively impacts motor development, nervous system maturation and sensory processing skill development. This is a growing problem in our society, especially with an increase in screen time and more sedentary youth lifestyles; these current cultural trends are leading to more children needing support to facilitate sensory, motor, and social development. Pediatric OTs see the impact of these developmental trends as an increasing number of parents seek OT support for their child to address self regulation and sensory processing challenges. Recent studies indicate that the prevalence of sensory processing disorder ranges from 5% to 10% for children without disabilities and from 40–88% for children with identified needs.
There is a need for unique, structured, comprehensive programs and complementary strategies to address self-regulation and functional outcomes in children with sensory processing difficulties within our field. Data that supports a novel program run by OTs that encourages physical activity and fitness would be a significant benefit for children.