Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long will my child require therapy? The length of time that a child receives occupational therapy is dependent on his/her individual needs. Treatment plans and goals are reviewed periodically to determine therapeutic progress and the need for additional therapy. In consultation with parent(s) and child, therapy is discontinued as soon as therapeutic goals have been met or therapeutic benefits have been maximized. It is not uncommon for a child to need 50 to 80 sessions, typically 30-45 minutes one to three times per week.
  2. Do all children with autism have sensory integration difficulties? About 70% of children with autism have sensory integration difficulties. Our experience has shown that sensory integration intervention attenuates the symptoms experienced by these children.
  3. What do I need to do as a parent to ensure that my child gets the most out of therapy? Participation in home programs will affect your child's success in occupational therapy to a great extent. Because the therapeutic contact time is limited, the sensory diet and home exercise programs are necessary to cement skills and strategies. The quality of the home program will help determine the length of time required to reach the child's therapeutic goals.
  4. How is therapy at Giant Leaps different from that offered at the child’s school? In order for your child to receive school-based services with an IEP, he/she must demonstrate an educational need as per the school based support team. School based therapy is designed to aid the child to be functional within the school environment. This does not mean that the child’s performance is optimized. At Giant Leaps, we want to see your child reach his/her full potential in home, community and school environments.
  5. What causes sensory integration dysfunction? Although there are no definitive studies that give a specific cause, there are theories about contributory factors. Genetics, exposure to toxins, prematurity, and birth trauma have all been implicated.
  6. What is a sensory diet? A sensory diet is a list of daily activities that the child can perform to help maintain an optimal state of alertness.
  7. Can attention deficit disorder be treated with sensory integration techniques? Although ADD and the related ADHD are diagnosed separately from sensory processing disorder, they share a similar profile. Many children with ADD/ADHD exhibit symptoms of sensory integration dysfunction. For example, children with either diagnosis may have problems with attention, arousal and hyperactivity. Intervention by a sensory integration specialist will address many of these issues.
  8. Will my child outgrow his sensory defensiveness? While most people do not completely outgrow sensitivities, they can learn techniques to moderate and manage them.
  9. Are there strategies that I can use to deal with some of the disruptive behavior that my child displays? It is important to understand your child’s reaction to certain sensations of varying intensity. By evaluating activities that trigger outbursts or discomfort from a sensory perspective, the therapist will assist you in creating strategies that empower your child to behave more adaptively.