Touch. Taste. Sound. Sight. Smell. Body Awareness. Balance. We often take our senses for granted. The sound of waves crashing on the lakeshore. The smell of freshly baked cookies straight out of the oven. The feel of a cozy blanket on a cold winter’s night. Being able to walk or kick a ball without looking at your feet. For many, these feelings can be so disruptive that trying to go about daily life in our world can be emotional, puzzling and devastating.
Sensory Life Project
Within Altru’s Outpatient Therapy Services, a new patient program is launching, called the Sensory Life Project. This project supports individuals of all ages who have sensory processing difficulties and was made possible by our community’s generosity at the 2022 Altru Gala. “We all have sensory processing. It is our body and brain’s ability to take in the sensory stimuli we come in contact with throughout the day, interpret it and respond appropriately,” explains Alissa Sundby, an occupational therapist at Altru. “When you have sensory processing disorder, you are more sensitive to the sensory stimuli your body is getting and it takes less for you to become overwhelmed. Sometimes you may need more stimuli for your body to register and respond appropriately.”
Sensory Processing Disorder Treatment
At Altru, there are a few different ways, depending on age, that sensory processing difficulties can be addressed. For children, it is through play. Therapeutic interventions are used to address sensory processing difficulties. These interventions bring hope and transformation to our patients and their families, allowing them to live life more fully.
Despite the growing awareness and occurrence of sensory disorders, insurance coverage remains almost nonexistent, leaving families financially responsible for education, treatment, equipment and coping supplies. That is where the Sensory Life Project comes in. This initiative, funded by the 2022 Altru Gala, covers many expenses related to sensory processing difficulties: sensory coping kits, in-home environmental assessments, staff training, community education classes and patient financial assistance.