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Emily K. is an active 9-year-old, who was previously diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction. The symptoms included difficulty responding in an adaptive way to everyday sensations that others hardly notice or simply take for granted; in her case, for example, the ability to walk on an uneven lawn.
“Cara has been working with Emily for more than a year. We came to her at the suggestion of Dr. Zelinsky (www.mindeyeconnection.com), Emily’s optometrist. With sensory integration related problems, Emily’s visual and motor skills were out of alignment. In addition to difficulty with gross motor skills, Emily also had problems with fine motor skills, which impacted her ability to pick up something small or write,” explains Emily’s mother, Melanie.
Although Emily has been a Kinetic Konnections client for the past year, she now comes intermittently for fine tuning and for enhancing her skills. She works on these skills with her mother at home in between sessions. “The exercises that Emily has been doing for the past year were focused on progressively improving her balance – stabilizing herself against gravity – and strengthening her muscles. “What’s amazing is that we repeat these exercise at home, doing two to three repetitions of each exercise for no more than five to 10 minutes at a time. That way we can do them throughout the week without a huge struggle,” Melanie adds.
“When we first came to Cara, Emily was unsure of herself and would hold onto my hand when walking. Now, she is much more secure and walks across an uneven surface such as a lawn by herself. She is even running and, best of all, you don’t have to psych her to try. The wonderful thing about her improvement is that as she gains ability, she gains confidence and, as a result, is willing to try doing more things.”
For Emily the results have been tremendous. Prior to this year, Emily had to expend so much of her energy just keeping herself balanced. As a result, she didn’t have much energy left to enjoy playing. “One of the benefits of her overall improvement is that she can pretend play so much more, which is so important to a child’s development. As her fine and gross motor skills improve, she doesn’t have to think about them, they become as automatic (for her) as for the rest of us,” Melanie shares.