By Ken Sargent, CCC-SLP
Non-medication interventions for ADHD, Autism, and Sensory Processing Impairments
Held on August 15, 2017 at Crowne Plaza, Syracuse, New York
The title of this workshop, as noted above, was Non-medication interventions for ADHD, Autism, and Sensory Processing Impairments. Given the increasing frequency of our school-aged individuals diagnosed with the above conditions, I felt this course would be an excellent opportunity to acquire new methods of treatment provided within the classroom and my therapy sessions.
The workshop began by focusing on specific aspects of Autism, ADHD, and SPD, such as increasing rates of incidence (apparently related to more thorough diagnostic procedures), recognizing key symptoms, and how each of these impairments manifests itself across a variety of environments, including home, school, and community.
Much of the workshop centered around Sensory Processing Disorder and the four types of difficulties associated with the disorder:
- Input Under-Response
- Output Under-Response
It provided the participants with symptoms and sensory deficits (hands, eyes, torso, mouth, etc.) associated with each area. For example, individuals with seeking behaviors will often use their hands to seek and hold surfaces which are calming in nature (hands), are often fascinated by flickering lights (eyes), and compulsively chew items (mouth) such as pencils, hair, clothing, etc.
Perhaps the most important information provided within the workshop involved recommended interventions for sensory deficits, such as those noted above, in the home and school environments. Strategies such as the use of “Fidget Tools”, proprioceptive movements, and the use of various scents to alleviate the sensory needs of individuals, specifically targeted to address each of the four domains listed above.
The strategies outlined in this workshop were clearly stated and are designed to be used across all environments in which individuals with sensory impairments. The speaker also provided his audience with a website (www.ADD-Plus.com) to be used as a resource for interventions and as a link to other pertinent sources of information.