The tendency to respond to certain harmless sensation as if they were dangerous or painful. A child may misperceive the world as dangerous, alarming, or irritating. When left untreated, sensory defensiveness may have a negative influence on every aspect of life.
Symptoms of children with sensory defensiveness - avoid letting others touch them - frequently resist hair washing or cutting - irritated by some types of clothes - agitated by people accidentally bumping into them - dislike getting their hands or feet dirty - may bump or crash into things on purpose - avoid certain textures or types of food - may have had feeding problems since infancy - may startle more easily - may avert their eyes or avoid eye contact
Unique Prints Intervention for Sensory Defensiveness**
Research conducted by Patricia and Julia Wilbarger indicate that an intensive and comprehensive approach to treating Sensory Defensiveness is most effective. At Unique Prints we follow a three-step process.
1. Parent Interview – we ask questions of the family so we can better understand the child’s behavior and recommend the most appropriate sensory input, and provide education to assist parents in better understanding their child‘s behaviors.
2. Wilbarger Protocol/Sensory Diet Training – 2 hour parent training meeting for teaching specific “high-powered” sensory activities completed during the day that provide the child with the correct amount and type of sensation for optimal functioning.
3. Treatment – frequent application of firm/deep pressure touch input followed by gentle joint compression to various parts of the body. Therapists follow-up with families through phone interview and technique check to track progress and ensure maximum effectiveness of the Wilbarger Protocol/sensory diet intervention.
"The Wilbarger Protocol is an excellent intervention for helping children with sensory defensive issues. It is often the key to building a strong sensory foundation to build upon. The approach is intense but worthwhile because it works!"
- Kristy Phelps, OTR, and Clinical Director of Unique Prints Pediatric Therapy Services, Inc.
* Adapted with permission of the authors from "Defensiveness in Children Aged 2 - 12; An intervention Guide for Parents and Caretakers" by Patricia Wilbarger, MEd, OTR, FAOTA and Julia Wilbarger, MS, OTR ** Intervention must always be directed by a professional who has received training in the Wilbarger Protocol.
PHONE (303) 773-1034 • FAX (303) 773-1977 • 2900 S. University Blvd. Denver, CO 80210