Learning About Sensory Integration Dysfunction: Strategies to Meet Young Children's Sensory Needs at Home
AbstractDrew is a 2-and-a-half-year-old boy. He is the youngest of four children, yet according to his mother, he is big for his age. Drew loves to play outside with his siblings. He has exceptional motor skills and can run and jump with his older brother. Drew loves to throw and catch, and he can play football with his brother. Drew is very affectionate; he loves to give hugs to his mother and sisters. Drew is learning to use words to get his needs met, and he recently began to combine words. He is always eager to help with chores and meal preparation. Drew has amazing strength, as he is able to carry two gallons of milk at a time, one in each hand. Drew's mother, Pam, has a hard time managing his disruptive behaviors. Pam is distraught because Drew is “ruling the household.” He often throws fits when he cannot communicate his wants and needs. Drew can be a bully to his older siblings. He bites and hits his siblings, and they give in to Drew just to keep him from throwing a fit. Drew has a very hard time attending to any activity. He wanders the house at dinnertime; he wakes in the middle of the night and empties all of the toys out of his toy box or pulls things off tables and walls. His mother says that Drew feels no pain. He can run into the wall and not cry. He likes to run into furniture, wrestle with his older brother, and carry buckets of grain to feed the family's goats. Pam's concerns lead her to speak to her pediatrician, who referred her to an early intervention team for an evaluation. The assessment results showed evidence of a significant speech and language delay. The intervention team also expressed concern about Drew's interactions with his family. Pam was asked to complete the Sensory Profile (Dunn, 1997), a standardized instrument used to assess children who might have a sensory integration disorder. The questionnaire is completed by the caregiver and then scored by professionals, an early intervention team, in Drew's case. The results were shared with Pam and her developmental pediatrician. Drew was diagnosed with a sensory integration dysfunction (SID).