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Caught Two, But One Got Away

by Carol Kranowitz
January/February 1998
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/caught-two-but-one-got-away/5011980/

After they leave your care, what happens to preschoolers with possible developmental problems? Do they sink or swim?

Here is an update on three children, now sixth graders. Years ago, Dr. Lynn A. Balzer-Martin, a pediatric occupational therapist, and I screened them for sensory integration (SI) dysfunction.

The tool we used is our innovative screening program, launched in 1987 at St. Columba's Nursery School. Catching Preschoolers Before They Fall: A Developmental Screening described the program here (March 1992).

Our primary goal has been to distinguish between slow maturation and risk factors that may predict learning and behavior problems. When children are identified as being at risk, we recommend a formal evaluation and, if appropriate, early remediation.

For sensory integration dysfunction, the best intervention is occupational therapy (OT), which most children love. OT helps them regulate their nervous systems so they can respond appropriately to sensory stimulation and proceed with their job of moving, learning, and playing.

Our screening indicated that Johnny, Tanya, and Michael were at risk. We encouraged therapy to prevent later problems.

Let's see what happened.

Johnny flourished with OT.

When he was a preschooler, SI
dysfunction impeded his ability to move, play, learn, and relate to
others. It affected his posture and balance, hearing and vision, ...

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