Occupational Therapy: How Sensory Modulation Treatment Helps Patients
Mariposa’s Occupational Therapists help both children and adults live a more active and full life. Occupational Therapists help patients develop and improve fine motor skills such as handwriting and using scissors. They can also help clients learn to manage emotions and behaviors that might interfere with daily activities such as feeding, bathing and dressing.
Melinda Holder, OTR/L, is an expert in the treatment of disorders that can impact a child or adult’s ability to cope with and navigate everyday situations. Melinda has a background in psychology and extensive experience working with patients who are dealing with mental health conditions that limit their ability to live a fulfilling life.
At Mariposa, Melinda specializes in sensory modulation treatment and provides autism patients with anxiety management tools. She includes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) elements in treatment plans to help them improve the way they manage their emotions and behaviors.
DBT techniques are different from other treatment approaches such as Zones of Regulation and “How Does Your Engine Run” because they incorporate awareness training that improves functional outcomes for clients. Melinda also uses guided imagery to help her clients enhance sleep quality, decrease stress and better manage pain.
Melinda recommends the following tips for parents/caregivers to help with sensory modulation:
- Establish micro routines (make minor changes such as:
- Bedtime routine (sensory work, deep pressure).
- Dividing routines into a series of activities.
- Keep track of triggers (context, verbal cues, etc.)
- Allow patients to be upset for a moment to allow them to release difficult emotions as long as they do not become destructive or dangerous.
- Create a “safe corner” or “safe space.”
- Talk through emotions.
- Listen and problem-solve together.
- Label emotions and language to define what the patient might be feeling.
Melinda Holder, OTR/L, has been practicing for five years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University, Mesa AA. She and the rest of the Mariposa occupational therapy team treat both children and adults in our Tempe Clinic. Contact us today to request an appointment.