Every brain is different

I had the pleasure to attend and present a short lecture on Sensory Processing Disorder at Every Brain is Different Conference held Saturday March 29, 2014 at Apache Elementary in Overland Park, KS.  SPD is a neurological condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or “sensory integration.”

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Sponsored by Tikitum, it was a lively day for adults to devote to sensory learning. There was a good turnout and I met many parents and professionals in the field of special education and sensory integration. All people, especially those with neurological differences, have an increased need for early and imaginative interventions. In this conference, we were able to:

  • Explore how the inborn curiosity of all children is learning potential.
  • Pursue a-typical topics for those a-typical learning needs
  • Engage our expert panel
  • Get our hands messy during interactive workshops
  • Network with special needs parents, professionals, and educators.
  • Gain resources from local supporters of the special needs community

Sensory experiences are the foundation of cognitive development and for all developing minds. Increased sensory learning results in maximized intellectual potential and greater abilities for self expression, confidence, and self-regulation.

In the morning session, Dr. Peter Smith gave a lecture on NeuroScience: The Final Frontier. Transforming ideas into reality. Translating research into cures. Transcending suffering and heartbreak associated with neurological disorders.

Then Brianne Bongiovanni gave a lecture on Emilia Reggio Approach where the key features of Reggio Emilia’s early childhood program:

  • the role of the environment as the ‘third’ teacher;
  • children’s multiple symbolic languages;
  • documentation as assessment and advocacy;
  • long-term projects; the teacher as researcher and the home-school relationships.

In the afternoon session, Warren Fried gave a lecture on Understanding Dyspraxia, a neurological disorder throughout the brain that results in life-long impaired motor, memory, judgment, processing, and other cognitive skills. Dyspraxia also impacts the immune and central nervous systems.

My lecture on Sensory Processing Disorder followed Warren Fried.

There were also workshops by:

  • Olga Pitenko of Tikitum Lab on Sensory Learning is Easy!
  • Kimberly Lay on Allergy-free baking,
  • Horizon Academy on Learning Disability Simulation to learn what it feels like to have a learning disability.

Following the lectures and workshops, there was a panel discussion where the audience asked questions and sparked lively discussions with our speakers.

Special thanks to www.bethpledger.com
www.photographerinkansascity.blogspot.com for the wonderful photographs.


About Emily Lauren

Jenny Clark, OTR/L, BCP (AOTA Board Certification in Pediatrics), is a licensed pediatric occupational therapist with over 22 years experience working as a school-based occupational therapist, independent contractor for early intervention services, private practitioner, speaker, consultant, author, and inventor. Jenny currently owns a pediatric therapy private practice, Jenny’s Kids, Inc. Jenny Clark Jenny is the author of the best-selling book on sensory processing entitled Learn to Move, Move to Learn: Sensorimotor Early Childhood Activity Themes(AAPC 2004), (Starter Kit available) More recently Ms Clark has written a sequel Learn to Move, Moving Up! Sensorimotor Elementary School Activity Themes (AAPC 2009). In addition, she has published two DVD’s Learn to Move: Dinosaurs (AAPC 2005), a companion to her first book, and Sensory Processing Disorder Kit: Simulations and Solutions for Parents, Teachers, and Therapists (AAPC 2006), which won the 2007 media in excellence video award from Autism Society of America. Jenny’s newest publication is a music CD, Sing, Move, Learn (AAPC 2010), which accompanies the songs in her first book. Ms. Clark is a contributing author for the book Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals (Greenwood Publishing Group 2007), as well as a chapter author for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Foundations, Characteristics, and Effective Strategies. (Pearson Publishing 2011 by Boutot & Myles). Jenny is the inventor of the Patent-Pending “Weigh” Cool Bracelet. Jenny has spoken both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics, including sensory integration/processing. She received her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy and graduated with distinction from the University of Kansas.
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