The best practices training was held on Saturday, March 23, 2019
The target audience of the training was majorly Parents, Therapists and Teachers who wished to learn how to manage children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related developmental challenges. The training which began at 10:15am was facilitated by a registered occupational therapist, Mr Akinelure Abimbola.
SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER
Sensory Processing Disorder is a condition that exists when sensory signals are not organized into appropriate responses; when the body is unableto perceive, organize or respond to stimuli appropriately. The facilitator spoke extensively on the four levels of sensory integration: Primary Sensory Systems, Perceptual Motor Foundations, Perceptual Motor Skills and Academic readiness. The facilitator emphasized that the disorder could affect a child in all settings and could cause impediment in learning, cause a negative impact on movement and coordination and interfere with the child’s social skills.
He also mentioned that sensory processing disorder could be categorized into three: Sensory Modulation Disorder, Sensory based motor disorder and Sensory discrimination disorder. Sensory Modulation disorder can be explained as a Pattern in which individuals have difficulty regulating sensory input- difficulty maintaining balance. Sensory Motor Disorder refers to Motor challenge with an underlying sensory basis as well as poor postural control. On the other hand, Sensory Discrimination Disorder difficultly filtering and interpreting sensory information, comparing details, and disregarding irrelevant information.
The facilitator started off by explaining the importance of movement to every
child’s development and learning. He also explained that motor skill is a learned ability to cause a predetermined movement outcome with maximum certainty. He highlighted the two categories of Motor Skills –Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skill-
Gross motor skills involve movement of the large muscles of the arms, legs and torso. These skills are needed for carrying out whole body movements like Climbing, riding a bike, swimming, jumping on a trampoline, balloon and bubble play, dancing, obstacle courses, football and jumping jacks. On the other hand, fine motor skill is the coordination of small muscle, in movement usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers with the eyes. Fine motor skills are achieved when children learn to use their smaller muscles, like muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrists.
The facilitator stated that it was important that therapists set both long term and short-term goals in ensuring that a child with developmental challenges achieves motor skills. He also recommended that parents need to follow up with tasks that ensure hand manipulation at home.
There was an interactive question and answer session that lasted for thirty minutes. The training ended at 12:15am with closing remarks and vote of thanks from the Project Coordinator, Ms Oluwatomi Aina. A total of 52 trainees were recorded; light refreshments and snacks were served and a group photograph followed afterwards.