Tagged "sensory processing disorder"


SPD: Know The Signs, Characteristics & How To Get Help

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

TalkTools instructor Monica Purdy, MA, CCC-SLP & mom of three, nurse and author Michele Gianetti, RN have recently been published in Parenting Special Needs Magazine in the July/August 2017 edition.

"SPD: Know The Signs, Characteristics & How To Get Help" is available for free through the online magazine.

The article is valuable for parents of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, providing them with a downloadable checklist and a sample letter for their child's teacher and school, in addition to three pages of tips, facts and essential information throughout the article. The resources are intended to help special needs children and their families getting back to school smoothly.

Read more →

3 Presentations at NDSC 2017!

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

TalkTools was represented in 3 presentations at this year's National Down Syndrome Congress. Thank you all for attending!

Effective Strategies For Improved Communication and Speech Clarity for Children with the Diagnosis of Down syndrome

Presenter: Jennifer Gray, MS, CCC-SLP

Age range: Birth to 8

Course description:

This presentation will focus on effective communication strategies for children, birth to
school-aged, with the diagnosis of Down syndrome. Factors that impact appropriate
communication will be presented. Strategies will be discussed that foster speech and
language and prevent communication difficulties. Sensory, motor, and oral-placement
skills will be discussed in the framework of a comprehensive language learning system.
Parents and educators will better understand how multiple strategies can be implemented
to address speech clarity and overall communication.

Learning outcomes:

  • Identify the types of communication and which to target based on the child's strengths in daily living.
  • Learn specific activities and strategies to use at home with your child/client/student to encourage speech clarity and expressive language
  • Learn specific activities and strategies to use at home with your child/client/student to encourage speech clarity and expressive language

Airway, Orthodontics, Apnea, and Oral Placement Therapy

Presenters: Brian Hockel, DDS & Heather Vukelich, MS, SLP-CCC

Age range: All ages

Course description:

Posture and function of the jaw and mouth muscles will affect speech, facial and jaw development, and even the airway. As breathing and speaking are vital to health and personal development, you will want to learn in this presentation how to optimize your child's potential through addressing the common root causes of speech, orthodontic, and sleep apnea problems.

Learning outcomes:

  • To understand the etiology of facial and airway growth, and the implications for sleep apnea.
  • To introduce therapies such as Oral Placement Therapy that help speech and facial development.
  • To show orthodontic approaches which affect speech, facial appearance, and airway health.

Understanding Sensory Differences and How It Can improve Your Child's Quality of Life

Presenter: Monica Purdy, MA, CCC-SLP

Age range: Birth to 5

Course description:

The term “Sensory Differences” has been recently added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5®). Sensory differences can affect how each of us perform in therapy, school or their home setting. An individual’s sensory system is the foundation of his/her ability to interpret, process and react to the demands of the environment. Sensory differences affect every facet in an individual’s life – from eating, articulation, language, social and academic skills to self-care and play.

This course will allow participants to evaluate sensory differences, and gain new insights and perspectives toward your child, and even yourself. Understanding the importance of modulation, as well as under-responsive or over-responsive actions, will be the basis for guiding you and your child's therapist to have more success in every day interactions, as well as therapy sessions.

The importance of recognizing how your child may be processing information, and understanding which strategies and practices to implement will help your child both in therapy – and in life. The importance of working in conjunction with an occupational therapist will also be addressed.

Learning outcomes:

  • Define the term sensory processing disorder and determine how sensory processing affects your child
  • Identify the 8 senses and distinguish between typical and non-typical reactions to sensory input
  • Apply sensory activities to help the child/client achieve success
Read more →

Diet-Shaping for Self-Limited Diets in Children With a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

This article was initially presented at the 2016 Annual ASHA Convention, Thursday, November 17, 2016, 4:30-5:30 PM. It is available in video in full on Facebook: Part 1 / Part 2

Authors:

Robyn Merkel-Walsh MA, CCC-SLP

Lori Overland MS, CCC-SLP/C-NDT

Learner Outcomes:

1. Participants will have an improved understanding of the etiology of a self-limited.

2. Participants will be able to demonstrate understanding of a home-based diet.

3. Participants will be able to comprehend the concept of diet-shaping.

Discussion of Topic:

The CDC (2015) reports, that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts 1 in 68 children in the United States. In “cluster” states such as New Jersey, as many as 1 in 28 boys are affected.

Children with ASD often present with comorbid feeding issues. There is empirical evidence and an overall scientific consensus supporting an association between food selectivity and ASD (Marí-Bauset Zazpe, Mari-Sanchis, Llopis-González & Morales-Suárez-Varela, 2014). Problems with eating often occur before the actual diagnosis of ASD, and clinicians may often be alerted to the disorder when eating problems, nutritional concerns and gastrointestinal problems occur (Beckman & Cole-Clark, 2015).

Studies show that up to seventy percent of children with ASD are selective eaters and up to ninety percent have feeding problems (Volkert & M Vaz, 2010). Children with ASD are significantly more likely to refuse foods based on texture/consistency (77.4% vs 36.2%), taste/smell (49.1% vs 5.2%), mixtures (45.3% vs 25.9%), brand (15.1% vs 1.7%), and shape(11.3% vs 1.7%), (Hubbard, Anderson, Curtin, Must & Bandini,2014). Researchers at Marcus Autism Center and the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of published, peer-reviewed research relating to feeding problems and autism. Examination of dietary nutrients showed significantly lower intake of calcium and protein and a higher number of nutritional deficits overall among children with ASD (Korschun & Edwards, 2013). Feeding challenges in the Speech-language pathologists receive referrals for feeding issues in ASD both before and after diagnosis (Keen. 2008).

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) has the most empirical research in treating ASD to date. Behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment (Lovaas & Smith, 1989). It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health (Iovannone, Dunlap, Huber, & Kincaid, 2003). Research has shown that ABA therapy is effective at increasing appropriate behaviors and decreasing inappropriate behaviors (Kodak & Piazza, 2008). Therefore, it is reasonable to believe the principles on which ABA techniques are based can help with feeding issues (Volkert & M Vaz, 2010). The problem is that behavioral therapies however, do not often take into account the complexity of the sensory-motor system or medical issues, and how they relate to self-limited diets in children with ASD. Behavioral components may be essential in a feeding program; however, they should be implemented in conjunction with a sensory-motor approach to prove the most positive outcomes.

An infant’s first “job” in life is self-regulation and modulating arousal. These hard-wired synergies impact the sensory-motor system and oral-motor development (Overland & Merkel-Walsh, 2013). Many children with autism have significant issues with arousal and self-regulation which drives behavioral responses (Barthels, 2014.) Many children with autism also have qualitative differences in motor skills, especially with posture and alignment. (Teitelbaum, 1998). These differences in motor skills may also impact the motor skills for safely handling food. Therefore, when an individual with autism is referred to a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for self-limited diet, a comprehensive feeding assessment is required, including: review of child’s medical status; gross, fine, and oral-motor development; nutritional status; and sensory processing (Arvedson & Brodsky, 2001). For example, 59 percent of autistic children who were undergoing endoscopy for GI symptoms had carbohydrate digestive abnormalities, compared with only 11 percent in unaffected children undergoing endoscopy for GI symptoms (Beckman & Cole-Clark, 2015). Issues that affect the variety in the diet may not be behavioral. Since the sensory and motor systems cannot be separated (Morris & Klein, 2000), it is very important to task analyze the child’s motor skills and how they relate to feeding before assuming that a self-limited diet is purely behavioral (Beckman & Cole-Clark, 2015; Merkel-Walsh & Overland, 2016).

Sensory processing issues can also contribute to feeding disorders (Twachtman-Reilly, Amaral, & Zebrowski, 2008). Sensory processing refers to the ability to receive messages from the senses, interpret and organize the information in order to turn it in to an appropriate motor or behavioral response. Not all children with sensory processing disorders have autism but more than ¾ or as many as 90% of children with a diagnosis of autism have some degree of sensory processing disorder (Schoen, Miller, Brett-Green & Nielsen, 2009). Children with sensory regulation disorder may not be able to organize themselves for feeding. Those with oral sensory issues may not feel the food in their mouths, or they may be overly sensitive to the feeling of the food in their mouths. They may not feel hunger or satiation. Sensory defensiveness produces a neurochemical reaction of fear that quickly becomes a hardwired automatic response. The nervous system triggers a “fright-flight-fight” response even if it is irrational (Merkel-Walsh & Overland, 2016). In addition, once a behavior is inadvertently reinforced, the behavior will reoccur (Brophy, 2013). Children with autism are at a higher risk for these problems, because many children with autism engage in ritualistic behaviors. Seemingly well-meaning parents and therapists may not realize that by reacting to food refusals they are actually increasing the chance for this behavior to reoccur (Brophy, 2013; Merkel-Walsh & Overland, 2016).

In clinical practice the speech-language pathologist needs to look at how the child with ASD reacts to touch of the extremities, the face, and oral cavity as well as oral habits such as teeth grinding, mouthing objects and eating items other than foods. A diet analysis is needed to assess if the child has intolerances to certain tastes, temperatures and textures. This will establish the child’s home base and provide a starting point for diet expansion. The therapist must look at the underlying oral sensory-motor skills to support safe, effective nutritive feeding (Merkel-Walsh & Overland, 2016).

In conclusion, children with ASD are prone to self-limited diets. In order for a speech and language pathologist to thoroughly assess and treat this disorder, the therapist must be in tune to the sensory-motor system and design a treatment plan based on the home base, and systematically and sequentially via diet- shaping.

References:

Arvedson, J. C. & Brodksy, L. (2001). Pediatric swallowing and feeding: Assessment and management (2nd Ed.). Albany, NY: Singular.

Barthels, K. (2014). There is always a reason for behavior: is it sensory or is it behavior? (Live presentation), New York, NY.

Beckman, D. & Cole-Clark, M. (2015). Diet texture transition for individuals with autism. American Speech Language Hearing Association, Denver, CO. Retrievable: http://www.beckmanoralmotor.com/media/Diet-Texture-Progression-for-Individuals-with-Autism-ASHA.pptx

Brophy, N. (2013). Behavior plan implementation in the classroom. (Power point slides), Ridgefield, NJ.

Center for Disease Control (2015). Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

Fisher, A. G., Murray, E. A., & Bundy, A. C. (1991). Sensory integration: Theory and practice. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Gisel, E. G. (1994). Oral-motor skills following sensorimotor intervention in the moderately eating impaired child with cerebral palsy. Dysphagia, 9, 180-192.

Hubbard, K.L., Anderson, S.E., Curtin, C. Must, A. & Bandini, L.G. (2014). A comparison of food refusal related to characteristics of food in children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol.114 (12), pp.1981-1987.

Iovannone, R. et al. (2003). Effective educational practices for students with autism spectrum disorder. Focus on autism and other developmental disabilities, 10883576,18,3.

Keen, D.V. (2008). Childhood autism, feeding problems and failure to thrive in early infancy, European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol.17 (4), pp.209-216.

Korschun, H., & Edwards, C. (2013.) Retrieved from http://www.news.emory.edu/stories/2013/02/autism_nutritional_deficits/

Kodak, T. & Piazza, C.C. (2008). Assessment and behavioral treatment of feeding and sleeping disorders in children with autism spectrum disorder. Behavior Modification, 33: 520-536.

Lovaas, O. I. & Smith, T. (1989). A comprehensive behavioral theory of autistic children: Paradigm for research and treatment. Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 20, 17-29

Marí-Bauset, S., Zazpe, I., Mari-Sanchis, A., Llopis-González, A. & Morales-Suárez-Varela, M. (2014). Food selectivity in autism spectrum disorders, Journal of Child Neurology, 2014, Vol.29 (11), pp.1554-1561.

Merkel-Walsh, R. & Overland, L.L. (2016). Self-limited diets in children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Oral Motor Institute. Vol 5, Monograph 7. Retrieved from: http://www.oralmotorinstitute.org/mons/v5n1_walsh.html

Morris, S. E., & Klein, M. D. (2000). Pre-feeding skills: A comprehensive resource for mealtime development. San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skill Builders.

Overland, L.F. & Merkel-Walsh, R. (2013). A sensory-motor approach to feeding. Charleston, SC. TalkTools.

Schoen, S., Miller, L.J., Brett-Green, B.A. & Nielsen, D.M. (2009). Physiological and behavioral differences in sensory processing: a comparison of children with autistic spectrum disorder and sensory modulation disorders, Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, Vol. 3, Article 29, 1-11

Teitelbaum, P., Teitelbaum, O., Nye, J., Fryman, J.& Mauer, R. (1998). Movement analysis in infancy may be useful for early diagnosis of autism. Psychology, 95:23, 13982-13987

Twachtman-Reilly, J., Amaral, S.C. & Zebrowski, P. P. (2008). Addressing feeding disorders in children on the autistic spectrum in school based settings: Physiological and behavioral issues. Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 39, 261-272.

Volkert, V.M. & M Vaz, P.C. (2010). Recent studies on feeding problems in children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 43 (1), 155-159.

Read more →
script type="text/javascript" src="//downloads.mailchimp.com/js/signup-forms/popup/unique-methods/embed.js" data-dojo-config="usePlainJson: true, isDebug: false">