Once the child is diagnosed as having sensory processing disorder, an occupational therapist usually works with both the child and the parents in performing various sensory integration activities. These are done in a safe, fun and positive environment wherein the child can perform different tasks that will slowly improve the way they handle different stimuli.
These are done in Occupational Therapy gyms which allow a sensory rich environment. Depending on the situation, the therapist will carefully stimulate the affected senses of the child with enough stimulation without overwhelming the patient. With the careful guidance of the occupational therapist, the child goes through fun and engaging activities that will both challenge them and also provide them with opportunities for success. This will develop their senses and provide them with the confidence of being able to eventually do things on their own.
The goal of the various sensory integration therapy activities is to simulate real world experiences that appropriate for the age of the child. A controlled environment will best help to ease the child into actual real world experiences. Once the child is comfortable with the activities in the OT gym, the child will slowly be exposed to actual real world environments with the parents and guardians. These include situations such as interacting with other children in play areas, eating with family during meals, and other regular activities.
Of course the therapist will not be present in all these activities. This is why during therapy sessions the parents or guardians should ideally be present, so they could learn and continue the process of slowly integrating the child into the real world. The parents or guardians will also take part in performing therapeutic activities outside of the therapist’s facility.