• Welcome to the Lamp Post

    As specialists in sensory integration, we provide occupational therapy services for children and adults who are struggling with sensory processing.

    Many times a sensory processing disorder coincides with other diagnoses such as attention deficit disorders (ADD or ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, etc. Other times, children and adults do not have any other diagnoses, but seem to struggle with many aspects of daily living and have a hard time "putting their finger on" the nature of the struggle.

    In either case, we are here to help. We provide a comprehensive evaluation and customized treatment plan. Please give us a call to find out more and to get started. Our office phone number is (352) 505 - 6339. Hope to meet with you soon!

  • Services at the Lamp Post

    Occupational Therapy/Sensory Integration
    At the root of occupational therapy is meaning, purpose, and joy in every day living. We have found sensory integration to be foundational need in order to lead lives of meaning and purpose for children, families, and adults.

    Handwriting Help
    Tutoring is now available. Develop readiness skills such as gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and pencil grip necessary for handwriting. Learn and improve printing and cursive skills such as letter formation, placement, and spacing. Have lots of fun!

    Check out our post below for a brief information on handwriting. Call the office or use our contact page for more information and to set up an appointment for a handwriting evaluation.

    In the Works
    Feeding Therapy
    Vision Development Program
    Parenting Workshops

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  • Lamp Post Stories

    If you are wondering how we have helped, here are a few of our clients' stories.

Beyond Simply Seeing

Did you know that your body and your brain do a lot of the work for your eyes to see? When the eyes, body, and brain are having difficulty working as a team, problems with learning and daily living are likely to occur. Many children and adults who are highly intelligent and capable end up struggling with skills such as reading for no apparent reason.

How frustrating is that?! Hard to understand and harder to know how to help. Many times the place to start is by taking a closer look at vision.

lens girl

Eyes are amazing tools that bring light to the ocular nerve, but the real fun begins when the brain begins to interpret the light. And the brain needs sensory information from the body and the ears to make sense of the light the eyes have presented.

Most of the time, vision is corrected with lenses. In this case, the correction has been on improving visual acuity, or how clearly the eyes can focus. Lenses work to direct the light coming in through the pupil as directly as possible to the fovea which are light receptors concentrated at the back of the eye. This is why acuity improves with glasses or contact lenses and always a great place to start when assessing the full range of functional vision.

Functional vision goes beyond acuity. While lenses may have improved how clearly the eyes are presenting information to the brain, the next questions to ask are what information is being presented and how is it being used?

The “what information” comes from how the eyes are able to coordinate with each other as well as how the eyes coordinate with the rest of the body. We call this ocular motor control and visual motor integration. The “how information” is what the brain does with the information or how does is visual information used for learning and in everyday living situations. We call this visual perception.

When the eyes can present accurate information to the brain, then the mind can use this information along with information from other sensory systems to make accurate perceptions about what is seen, heard, and felt. It is kind of like syncing software programs in a computer or across devices. The information programmed into the computer has to be accurate in order for the programs and devices to work together.

When vision and other sensory systems are not able to work well together, problems and glitches can occur. Often, nothing is broken but programming is necessary to sync information together. Our brain and body sync information through sensory and movement experiences.

This is also known as . . . wait for it . . . learning. Learning occurs when new connections are made in the brain. New connections are made when information “makes sense.”

So what happens when visual information is not processing well?

It looks different with every individual, but here is a list of some symptoms:

  • Problems with attention and focus
  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Looks like dyslexia with reversals or adding letters to wordswide eyed
  • Difficulty with motor skills such as drawing, handwriting, and ball skills
  • Extremes in movement seeking:
  • Impulsive, accident prone, and clumsy
  • Preferring sedentary activities, avoiding movement, or overly cautious about moving
  • Difficulty with dressing including orienting clothes correctly, managing fasteners, and tying shoes.
  • Trouble sequencing and breaking tasks down into smaller steps.
  • Trouble with spatial skills such as using a maps, difficulty following directions, or copying
  • Anxiety

Is there a solution? 

Improving functional vision involves treating the whole person and all sensory systems. This is why occupational therapy with a sensory integration focus can provide a great foundation for learning and the development of visual skills. Working with a developmental or behavioral optometrist may also be helpful and/or necessary. When problems with the eyes themselves are involved (injuries, genetic disorders or disease, etc.) working with an ophthalmologist is very important. As the foundational skills for vision are improved, tutoring for reading and writing will likely be more effective.

We hope this is helpful information and a place to start for gathering information. Please stay tuned for further details and information about vision and sensory integration.

If you have more questions about vision or how to set up an assessment, please call our office (352-505-6339) or send us a message through our contact page. We hope we can help!

 

Here are a couple of websites to go beyond simply seeing:

Parents Active for Vision Education (PAVE) 

College of Optometrists in Vision Development

Handwriting Help

Handwriting is an important skill.  It is a complex skill.  Handwriting is the coming together of sensory, motor, and thinking skills.  When these skills are in sync, learning to write letters and numbers is fun and effective.  Handwriting then becomes a tool for learning.

For some children, handwriting is a hindrance rather than a help.  Many times it is a hindrance due to limited instruction or hurried instruction as teachers attempt to keep up with curriculum demands. Many times, children can perform adequately with whatever instruction has been provided and can pick it up on their own.

For other children, struggling with handwriting can be a sign that their skills are not in sync.  In this case, identifying the underlying cause is important.  Otherwise, no matter how many times they are practiced, it seems the letters just won’t stick. It may seem like they are attempting to draw the letter each time. Exploring sensory processing and motor skills or coordination is a good place to start.  IMG_0908

Why? Developmentally, preschool and elementary school aged kids are still learning primarily from their sensory and motor systems. These systems then support the ability to learn higher level academic skills. Rather than thinking about writing the letter, they can think about the concepts or listen and record instructions from the teacher. Classroom performance and the joy of learning is enhanced by effective handwriting skills.

For example, have you ever needed to look at the keypad or actually touch the keys to remember a phone number? Or physically retraced your steps to find something you had in your hand minutes before, but now seems lost? This is because vision, touch, and movement (or motor memory) trumped the mental memory.

When handwriting works well, it makes available more tools for learning.  Taking notes solidifies what is heard and seen, creates a motor memory, and provides a visual reminder of the concept and the act of writing the notes.  Handwriting helps to develop skills in sequencing, organizing, and spatial skills.  Cursive handwriting, because of its flow and becomes individualized (a person’s art), also helps to synchronize both sides of the brain.

Some ask why not just learn to type. Typing is a fantastic skill and much needed in this age of technology. For young children, however, typing can be less efficient than writing. They are still learning to identify letters. If they are only typing, they miss the sensory and motor learning opportunities to develop strong letter identification. They are also still developing finger isolation skills which is necessary for effective and efficient typing.

Reading can also be impacted by handwriting. When basic letter formation is not developed, recognizing and reading various fonts can be difficult. Many children are stumped when it comes to reading cursive when they have not been taught cursive.

A good foundation with handwriting is a valuable, life long skill.  Struggling with handwriting is both a symptom of areas that may not be functioning well and a method to develop these same areas.

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At the Lamp Post, we provide tutoring that is aimed at developing the sensory and motor skills that support pre-handwriting skills as well as the instruction to develop handwriting skills. Contact us today. We are hopeful that we can help!

While there is still much to say about handwriting, we are curious. What do you think?  How important is handwriting? What questions do you have about handwriting?

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