RCOT OT Week 2019

Small Change, Big Impact : Sam's Story

by Bev Williams

Sam (not his real name) is 10 years old and has a diagnosis of ASD but is high functioning and attends a mainstream school.

the Challenge

Sam has difficulty with self regulation and has meltdowns, often getting into arguments with parents.

the Change

We have introduced a sensory ladder which he made himself with guidance from mum.  We discussed sensory ladders and how to put one together during one of our sessions that was particularly difficult for him.

A Sensory ladder helped Sam to look at his behaviour in a different way and to understand the sensory integration challenges he was facing.  Strategies were then put in place to allow Sam to self regulate and change his behaviours.

the Difference

And there was a big impact!

The following is a summary of a number of texts from mum to explain how this simple but very effective tool has changed their lives for the better ...

In the last week we've seen huge improvements in eye contact and not interrupting others. I always thought his sensory processing difficulties and social skill difficulties were separate but obviously sensory processing has an effect on everything else.

Since making the sensory ladder, I understand him much better. He is spending more time in his alert state and is more receptive to learning.

His teacher told me that she is starting to refer to the sensory ladder to work out where he is. She asked him to move a few desks with her when he was struggling to concentrate and she could see the change in real time. He became calm, attentive and focussed and started giving eye contact again. She said it was incredible and couldn't believe it was so successful!

We managed to go shopping yesterday to a supermarket and he wanted to push the trolley. He remained calm and focussed with no meltdowns! He has started going to bed earlier and sleeping better and is able to follow 2 step instructions easily!

It's meant the world to our family as we have been able to spend more quality time with his siblings as he is so much calmer and we are not having to manage him all the time. As he is in bed earlier, as parents we have been able to spend some evenings together and I actually had a bath without being interrupted.

The only thing that has changed in his routine is having Sensory Integration Therapy so it has to be that!

Thank you so much! This is amazing!
 I just can't believe the difference!

Best of all he's happy now!


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Bev Williams Photo

Bev Williams

BSc Occupational Therapy

Friendly, caring and professional, Bev has a vast experience as an OT and Sensory Integration specialist using SI techniques and strategies to enhance the lives of children with complex medical needs. She is Secretary for the South Wales Sensory Integration Specialist Group and a treating therapist for the SenITA project.

More about Bev
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