Sensory Processing

One of the areas that greatly affects development is sensory processing; or the ability of the brain to process or interpret the information that is delivered from the sensory systems, particularly the tactile (or the sense of touch), vestibular (or the sense of balance and movement), and proprioceptive (or the sense of pressure and vibration on muscles and joints). These three sensory systems function in unison to form the body scheme or awareness. These in turn lay the foundation for such skills as spatial orientation (or body’s awareness of position of its parts in relation to each other and other objects in the environment), bilateral integration (or the ability to use both sides of the body simultaneously and in coordinated manner), overall balance, protective reactions, and coordination.

Motor Planning

Motor planning is a very complex neurological function which is affected by many components within the central nervous system. In turn, motor planning influences all aspects of the child’s mobility and all functions that have to do with muscle performance including, but not limited to, using large muscles for general mobility, small muscle control for all hand functions, and control and coordination of oral and facial musculature necessary for feeding and speech development.

Fine Motor Skills

The area of fine-motor skills looks at the development of the hands including visual responses and tracking as foundation to fine-motor development, grasp and prehension (manipulation), reach, voluntary release, bilateral and midline skills (the ability to use hand at midline as well as to coordinate the use of both hands), as well as eye-hand coordination skills.

Family and School

A child's ability to adapt, learn and grow are all affected by the areas mentioned above. When a child has difficulty, it is important to create a loving and supportive environment at home and at school. Sometimes an expert is needed to assist the family in accomplishing this goal.