Brooke Carreiro still recalls vividly how difficult it could be for her son Jordan to handle everyday tasks from taking a bath and getting dressed to eating.
Diagnosed with hyposensitive sensory processing disorder, an under-responsiveness to sensory stimulation, Jordan was in constant motion: running, spinning, jumping, climbing on furniture, and crashing into walls.
“Jordan’s senses were receiving incorrect messages, causing his behaviors to be unpredictable and greatly affecting our everyday lives,” says Brooke.
Jordan and his family were referred to outpatient services at Bradley Hospital’s Communication, Occupational and Sensory Treatment (COAST) Clinic to treat his disorder. Offering comprehensive treatments for children who have difficulty participating in age-appropriate activities due to physical, neurological, cognitive, behavioral, communication, or sensory processing challenges, COAST was exactly what Jordan and his family needed.
“What makes our COAST Clinic unique,” explains Christine Gardner, Jordan’s occupational therapist, “is that we are totally child and family-focused; we take time to get to know the child and learn about the family so we can provide exactly what they need. Delivering treatment in an outpatient setting allows us to help families practice good carryover at home, which is the key to success”.
Through play in the COAST Clinic sensory rooms as well as therapy with Christine, Jordan learned the techniques his mind and body needed to regulate his senses. Moving from one activity to the next in a safe, sensory-focused environment helped Jordan better control his behavior and the movements of his body. He would jump on the trampoline, crawl through tunnels, swing from suspended apparatus, and explore different food textures in the therapy kitchen. And, the ongoing outpatient services improved his self-esteem, motivating him to practice what he learned from Christine at home and school.
“Jordan’s behaviors have improved significantly,” says Brooke. “We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for Christine and the COAST Clinic. His quality of life and what we’re able to do together as a family is very different than two years ago. It was a long journey, but worth every step!”