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Occupational Therapy Using a Sensory Integration–Based Approach With Adult Populations

Occupational Therapy Using a Sensory Integration–Based Approach With Adult Populations

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What are Sensory Processing Problems in Adults?
Sensory processing problems can result rom difculties in how thenervous system receives, organizes, and uses sensory inormation romthe body and the physical environment or sel regulation, motorplanning, and skill development. These problems impact sel-concept,emotional regulation, attention, problem solving, behavior control, skillperormance, and the capacity to develop and maintain interpersonalrelationships. In adults, they may negatively impact the ability to parent,work, or engage in home management, social, and leisure activities.Examples o indicators o sensory processing problems in adults ollow.
Indicators of Sensory Processing Problems in Adults
Sensory SystemsPerformance SkillsTactile
Sensitive to texture and ft o clothing resultingin avoidance o some types o clothing (e.g., ties,turtlenecks, pantyhose).Dislikes crowds or jostling in public places (e.g.,standing in lines or shopping).Becomes irritated with light or unexpected touch.May have difculty with intimate touch.
Difculties with balance, dislike o walking onuneven suraces.Dislikes or disoriented in elevators or on escalators.Becomes nauseous when riding in the car. Needs toride in the ront seat or be the driver.Fearul o leaving the house or o ying.
Sensitive to loud sounds.Irritated by sounds not usually bothersome to others(e.g., pencils or pens scratching, lights buzzing,others eating, candy wrappers rustling).
 Motor Performance
Difculty driving, parking, shiting gears, or enteringa reeway with an automobile.Difculty managing common home and ofceequipment.Clumsy or awkward with motor activities (e.g.,exercise, leisure, or sel-care tasks).
Social Performance
Difculty discriminating visual and auditory cues,impacting social interactions and role perormance.Difculty with body awareness, aecting bodyboundaries and body image.Difculty discriminating sounds and ollowingverbal directions.
Emotion Regulation
Difculty discriminating visual and auditory cues,decreasing the ability to understand the emotionalexpressions o others, resulting in rustration,anxiety, and anger management issues.
Who Can Beneft From a Sensory Integration–Based Approach?
Sensory processing problems may occur in isolation, or contribute to or be comorbid with other conditions such asanxiety and panic disorders, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia. Those with learning disabilities,attention defcit disorder, developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or Asperger syndrome may also have thesedifculties.
Occupational Therapy Using a SensoryIntegration–Based Approach With Adult Populations
www.aota.org4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-3425Phone: 301-652-2682 TDD: 800-377-8555 Fax: 301-652-7711
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