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.”
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.