Sensory Evaluations

Parents  of children. . . . . 

Does your child have aggressive and/or self-injurious behaviors?
Does he/she have self-stim. behaviors that interfere with activities of daily living?
Is he/she easily distracted?
Is change difficult and routines and structure preferred?
Is communication difficult?
Does child avoid certain sensations such as touch, sounds, smells, food textures and work hard at avoiding them?
Is anxiety problematic?
Is she/he in their “own world”?
Does he/she have difficulty learning (not due to intelligence but due to issues such as attention, defensiveness, auditory processing etc.)?
Does he/she have difficulty meeting IEP goals?
The Ready Approach is a type of sensory processing treatment not as well known as Sensory Integration although appears to work better for some children, especially children with more severe behaviors and sensory processing issues. The Ready Approach involves providing strategic types of sensation to a child every couple of hours or as needed. Each activity takes about one minute or less and some can be done by the child. These are taught to parents and caregivers in addition to the child. This sensory processing input brings a child’s nervous system to a “Ready” state where he/she can function more appropriately in the world around him/her. Over time, undesirable behaviors will slowly fade and learning and productivity will increase.


Adults . . . . . . 

Do you find it difficult to keep a job because of complaints about your behavior?
Do you get stressed several times a day and act this out in ways that are harmful to yourself or others?
Do you find it difficult to sit still?
Do you find it difficult to focus on the activity in front of you?
Do you have difficulties sleeping?
Do you feel a need to have your day structured and follow that structure exactly?
Do you find it difficult to relax?
Would you rather hang out in a quiet, low lit place than go out into the community to have fun?
Do certain sounds hurt your ears but not other people’s ears?
Do things touching your skin irritate you like shirt tags or people brushing past you?

Would you like to feel more comfortable in your own body? Would you like to be able to regulate your brain and body more easily in social situations? Would you like to be more independent with activities of daily life?

These issues can get better with the help of Raindance Occupational Therapy.  The Ready Approach is a sensory processing approach that can be taught to you and people in your life who are your natural supports like your parents and/or caregivers.  It only takes a few sessions to learn and the techniques can help you for a lifetime.  Sensory Processing Evaluations and training can be accessed through the Brokerages as Behavior Support.

Behavior Supports: Consultation, Assessment and Training

Behaviors can be reduced through a sensory processing approach (The Ready Approach), assuming the customer and parents follow through with recommended sensory activities a few times a day or as recommended by the Occupational Therapist.

What does a Sensory Processing Evaluation involve?

I go to the home of the child or adult customer and interview them and/or a parent to understand the mannerisms and behaviors that the customer has difficulty regulating in himself/ herself. I also ask questions to understand the customer’s likes, dislikes, strengths and limitations including age appropriate living skills. I observe the customer during this time. This takes about two hours. I also may do a file review, data review or interview other team members. From this information, I write up a report describing the behaviors, what sensory issues they represent and the strategies and recommendations for each type of sensory issue.

Customer and Parent Training:
Then, over the course of about four or five one hour sessions in the home, I teach the customer and parent sensory input activities to calm and organize the nervous system which are best used preventively. I recommend one appointment with me every two weeks or whenever the family feels ready for the next step. I try to use the equipment already found in the home but there may be a few items that will be recommended to purchase. The Ready Approach is not well known but works well. It is a positive approach. There is no punishment or negativity. The sensory input should all feel good to the body or else it needs to be stopped and problem-solved. The customers needs are honored. It acts on the brain chemistry similar to medication but without the side effects and more within one’s control. The knowledge gained from training can be used for a life time.

 “My son, Jake is 7 years old with multiple diagnoses including Autism, Developmental Disabilities and Pica. We called Heather to help us with behaviors such as scratching, climbing and inappropriate sensory seeking activities. Within six months, Jake showed remarkable improvement with most behaviors reduced by 50%. Heather’s dedication to helping Jake was tempered by her understanding of the limitations of everyday life and she encouraged us to ‘just do your best’. I would highly recommend Heather Santesson to any family considering occupational therapy for their child.”