What is Vestibular Dysfunction?
The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movements. If the system is damaged by disease, aging, or injury, vestibular disorders can result, and are often associated with one or more of these symptoms, among others:
• Vertigo and dizziness
• Imbalance and spatial disorientation
• Vision disturbance
• Hearing changes
• Cognitive and/or psychological changes
• Other symptoms
Sourced at vestibular.org
What’s Sensory Integration?
Sensory integration is the process by which we receive information through our senses, organize this information, and use it to participate in everyday activities.
Sourced at pathways.org
How does sensory integration help with vestibular dysfunction?
Pediatric Occupational Therapists utilize sensory integration by utilizing resistive body work, movement activities, and skin brushing to help children with sensory issues to experience better levels of regulation and arousal.
These interventions help the child by allowing them to respond and integrate appropriately to the sensory input they receive. This allows the child to feel safer as they are better to make sense of the world. This is accomplished through the rewiring of the brain, through these interventions, so that it can decrease anxiety and allow the child to be more successful, feel more confident and be more interested in exploring their environments.
The tactile and vestibular opportunities that can be incorporated into therapy can involve:
- Movement or tactile sensitivity
- Dyspraxia and motor skills
- Fine motor skills
The goal of sensory integration therapy is to encourage responses from the child through sensation in a meaningful, active, and fun way. After initial therapy and once the child begins to behave in a more functional way, therapy can be taken outside our center. We offer a variety of activities outside in the community, such as occupational therapy based yoga and OT based stand up paddle boarding for children to utilize what they learned in our center out into the community to learn a sport they can do for the rest of their lives.