By Rivky Teitelbaum, MS, OTR/L
Our State-Of-The-Art Sensory Gym is currently up and running with new equipment geared to be as therapeutic as possible, including a 3-panel rock climbing wall and a variety of swings. The students are enjoying it to the absolute fullest. These modern resources improve overall body coordination, upper body strength, and sensory processing skills. They are motivating and exciting and get the children more prepared for learning. Using the swings, for instance, can give the students an increased ability to calm themselves, by providing them with the level of sensory input that they need and enabling them to feel more grounded when returning to the classroom following therapy sessions.
Individualized Sensory Diets have also been implemented multiple times a day specifically in the lower grades. These are specially designed exercises/activities for individual students to give them the sensory support they need to tackle subjects that require a lot of concentration, such as reading and math. This type of proprioceptive input to muscles and joints improves children’s ability to sit for longer periods of time and enables them to learn and function at their optimal level.
Reflex Integration: There may be specific primitive reflexes that have not been properly integrated throughout the early stages of a child’s development. The persistence of these reflexes can interfere with the child’s ability to access higher levels of learning. We assess each child when he or she comes to Gesher Yehuda and work to integrate these primitive reflexes so that they no longer act as a barrier to learning.