Thursday, August 18, 2011

OT Evaluation Report

Our OT evaluation addressed two main areas: sensory and feeding. Therefore her OT report covered those two topics.

The sensory issues were addressed through a standardized sensory profile administered via parent report. Essentially, I answered a lot of questions about Ava. The profile covers auditory processing, visual processing, tactile processing, vestibular processing, oral-sensory processing, low registration, sensation seeking, sensory sensitivity, and sensation avoiding.

Ava scored in the typical range for vestibular processing, low registration, and sensory sensitivity. She also scored in the typical range for tactile processing, but the OT commented that Ava does seem to have some tactile processing hypersensitivity (doesn't play with food, play-dough, messy art materials, etc.). She responds slightly less than normal to auditory and visual inputs. She responds more than normal to oral inputs (food). She also scored high in sensation avoiding. She withdraws in group situations, avoids noisy places, avoids foods with strange textures, resists being touched by anyone other than very familiar family members, etc.

Nothing in the sensory profile was surprising. That makes sense, because the results were based upon my own observations. I am anxious to begin therapy and see how the OT recommends addressing her sensitivities.

As for feeding issues, again, the report was mostly a summary of my answers regarding Ava's food avoidances and preferences. The only new information was that her gag reflex is not overly sensitive. Again, I am interested to see where therapy takes us. The report itself didn't reveal anything earth-shattering here either.

I am mostly looking forward to beginning her OT therapy to see what that therapy will consist of and how much it helps. I want to help her with her eating issues for obvious reasons. I need to help her with the sensory issues for two reasons. The first is social. I don't want her hypersensitivity to prevent her from being able to socialize normally. The second reason is her speech. With apraxia, the greater the processing demands, the more difficult speech is for our children. So, when Ava is in an environment that is overstimulating for her, her system is so busy trying to deal with that overload, that her speech tanks. I hear her communicate so much less when we are out, when she is at school, and when we have a lot of people around. If we can start to work on that hypersensitivity to her environment, perhaps her speech will improve in these settings.

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