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June 06, 2013 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-06-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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confidence to do all of this; he blew us
away"
Jessica Hunt, OTRL, director of
Occupational Therapy and Sensory
Integration Programs at Kaufman
Children's Center, explained that
"Aryeh's senses were working inde-
pendently rather than together like a
massive highway system:"
Sense of movement was a particular
challenge for Aryeh.
"The vestibular system in our inner
ear plays a crucial role for the entire
body:' she explained. "It not only helps
us to hold our balance, but also our
attention and focus, movement in our
eyes, navigation of our bodies in space
and awareness of how far away people
are from us.
"The other main piece was self-reg-
ulation, or how we respond emotional-
ly and physically to situations. One of
the common things we see is extreme
reactions because the system isn't pro-
cessing the information appropriately:'
Hunt explained.
The work they do with Aryeh and
many other children at Kaufman is to
rewire the brain. "With sensory pro-
cessing disorder, some children have
too much information flooding into
their bodies or their bodies don't reg-
ister enough of the information, which
makes it difficult for them to function
and really adapt when things change
in the environment:' Hunt says.
Kaufman recently expanded its
sensory gym to accommodate more
children. It's a special quad setup
with four treatment areas that include
monkey bars, climbing walls, a ball
pit, a trampoline, hook ups for a varie-
ty of swings, pulling activities, and for
doing rotation and vertical movements
at the same time. It also features a

Lycra network that resembles a giant
colorful hammock that allows for a
variety of movement activities and
strength building.
"It is important to do a variety of
activities while coordinating all of the
sensory inputs at the high intensity
that Aryeh's body needs because many
of his systems are under-responsive
so we have to feed his system because
it isn't getting enough information:'
Hunt said.
Aryeh was frustrated, feeling like
he was the only one having this
experience. After observing kids

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• Activity level that is
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• Coordination problems
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• Feeding difficulties: "picky
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• Dislikes having face washed,
teeth or hair brushed,
bothered by tags in clothes,
upset by loud noises, doesn't
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Aryeh's mother, Dora Kurz of Oak Park, watches with Nancy Kaufman as
Aryeh works with his therapist "Mr. Chris" at Kaufman Children's Center.

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June 6 • 2013

13

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