Future Steps treatments are holistic, fun and engaging therapeutic sessions, centred around developing the motor and sensory systems. They often run on a weekly format, the frequency and programme length depend entirely on the needs of each individual. As each treatment programme is developed around the individual, the aims of our plans can vary vastly. A young person could be receiving support to reach their academic potential and in the same clinic, at the same time, another child could be overcoming their difficulties with crowds and sounds, to allow them to enjoy family days out.
‘During treatment sessions parents, carers and educators are encouraged to join in and learn about therapy and to become fully involved, as it is so important to include all aspects of a child’s life in order to make significant impact on their development. Home Programmes, School Programmes and Listening Programmes are often recommended to give a child or young person the best chances of reaching their full potential. This holistic approach in integral to the Future Steps service, allowing educators and families to continue development independently.
Sensory Integration therapy works on the body’s ability to process the information they receive from the world around them, particularly looking at the sensory systems. Our therapists are working to “re-map” the brain to encourage connections between sensory information from the outside world and processing the information.
We gain sensory information from receptors in the skin. This allows us to realise when we are too hot or too cold, if a pressure is too forceful and is causing pain, it’s also is essential for activities such as bike riding, swimming and the ability to understand and control emotions.
Known commonly as sight, however the visual system is more than just ‘seeing’. This system allows for visual figure-ground, meaning we can tell the difference between objects in the foreground and background. It also allows us to have visual motor skills, which are movements based upon those we have seen. For example, when a child learns to write they imitate the movements that they have seen their teacher perform
The olfactory system really means our sense of smell. A difficulty in understanding this sense can mean a child struggles to be around strong smells or perhaps does not connect the smell of fire and burning to danger.
Gustatory perception allows for knowing the taste of difference foods through taste receptors on the tongue. Difficulty in this area, much like the olfactory system, can mean that a child is unable to associate tastes with danger.
This system is felt through joints and muscles in order to understand the body in relation to itself. This understanding allows for unconscious movement. An example of this system in action is the ability to clap your hands with your eyes closed. Give it a try…You are able to do this because your body is aware of its form, in relation to itself and the space around it. Those who have challenges in this area are not able to process the information around them in order to form this understanding.
The vestibular system relies on receptors in the inner ear. This sense allows the body to understand forces acting upon it, in order to understand its movement in space. This understanding links into balance and eye movements, allowing a person to interact with their environment appropriately. This can be useful for everyday functioning, such as remaining stable when tilting the head backwards to wash your hair when in the shower. Lack of development with this system impacts your confidence in movement, causing challenges such as car/motion sickness and fear of the swings at the park.
This system relies receptors, or internal sensors, near organs. This system allows us to understand what our organs are saying, are we hungry, thirsty or need the toilet?
Difficulties in this area could leave a person feeling unexplained pain, as they or
unable to associate what the internal sensors are feeling.