Motor and Sensory Disorders
Motor and Sensory Disorders
In the mid 1940’s, Hans Asperger had observed a group of children making note of their lack of social engagement, restricted interest in social engagement, and immense dislike for certain types of touching sensations. Whether the touch was the roughness of a new particle of clothing, water during bath time, or having their nails clipped these were often times that presented much stress and wild tantrums form the child.
In line with this, Asperger also noticed the strong sensitivity to a variety of noises, but other times children would be completely responsive in a normal manner in regard to auditory input; the unusual reaction in regard to pain some children exhibited was also noted. Some children were afraid to fall out of a chair while others were ecstatic in regard to wounds that needed medical attention quickly.
Motor and sensory disorders affect children with Asperger’s syndrome 50 to 85 percent of the time. This means at least half of the individuals who are diagnosed with Asperger’s will have even the most simple form of motor issues. Whether the issues of the fine motor tasks involving the use of hands, to the gross motor tasks such as walking or running, will affect the individual on a grand scale varies from child to child. No two patients are exactly alike in way of symptoms and severity.
The lack of motor skills can greatly interfere with how an individual acts on a social level with their peers. Those children who exhibit signs of poor motor skills run the risk of being teased or taunted for being different, often putting an even larger damper on their already lacking social skills. Along with this, they may have a difficult time putting their thoughts onto paper as writing is a motor skill many children lack who are afflicted with Asperger’s.
Those afflicted with Asperger’s may also have motor and sensory disorders which cause them to use excessive or uncommon motor behaviors; these particular behaviors often provide sensory information which enhances the overall comfort level of the afflicted individual.
If a parent takes note of unusual behaviors at a young age, it is important to document these behaviors as they happen. This documentation is important and provides an easy way to chart the progression, or regression, of the specific child. Noticing and identifying particular patterns in the child’s routine will not only help the parents understand, but the doctors will be able to draw an even more specific diagnosis.
Once the issues have been properly identified, there are several different ways to address motor and sensory disorders. There is the age old “wait it out” approach, while others suggest young children go on a “sensory diet” of sorts. This involved implementing regular sensory activities throughout the child’s routine in order to familiarize them with optimum levels of attention and being alert while reducing stress overall.
There are a variety of therapies and techniques available to address motor and sensory disorders. It is important to discuss all options with a child’s general practitioner before trying each one.