You've been told your child has a "sensory processing" issue and EVERYBODY has some advice.

Read about the following interventions and hopefully some questions will be answered!

Call City Kids and ask for an OT if you need more information! (773) 467-5669

  • What is a sensory diet?
    Just as we have daily nutritional needs, we also have daily sensory needs that we need to satisfy in order to enhance our performance in daily life routines. A sensory diet is a specifically tailored home program to meet your child’s sensory needs. The “diet” involves the systematic use of sensory-based activities to help your child to be organized, adaptive, and successful in his/her daily life. The home program involves recommendations for the type and frequency of sensory experiences that is appropriate for your child. The plan will include deep pressure, proprioceptive, and movement activities, which will provide an alerting or calming effect as appropriate for your child. The sensory diet will also include adaptations for the environment as well as daily routines in order to promote success and reduce disruptions. The sensory diet is monitored on an ongoing basis to meet the needs of the child.
  • What is the “How Does Your Engine Run?” program?
    o “How Does Your Engine Run?”, the Alert program, is designed to teach children self-regulation skills of how to be aware of their level of arousal and how to appropriately alter it with sensory-based strategies. The program compares arousal states to the engine levels of a car – high, low, and just right. A therapist will help your child to recognize their hypersensitivities and develop specific strategies to change his/her “engine” speed to more successfully participate in daily tasks and functions. Upon evaluation from your occupational therapist, the Alert Program can be successfully implemented with children from preschool through high school. For more information, check out
  • What is the Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique? (formerly referred to as the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol)
    o The Wilbarger Protocol was developed by Patricia Wilbarger, MEd, OTR, FAOTA based on the Sensory Integration theory to address how a child interprets information from his/her skin, muscles, and joints to self organize and function in daily life. The protocol utilizes specific brushing and joint compression techniques that a therapist should demonstrate and teach you before administration. The protocol has been shown to help children with better body awareness for more coordinated movements, decreased aversion to tactile input with better ability to accept and react to touch and improved attention. The protocol can be used on children over two months of age.
  • What is a SPIO garment and how will it help my child?
    SPIO stands for stabilizing pressure input orthosis. The SPIO is a lycra compression garment that provides deep pressure to the muscles, joints and skin, which helps to promote better body awareness and muscular stabilization. Some children find the input organizing, which may help to improve coordinated movement, attention, and ability for smoother transitions. The SPIO garments can be worn all day underneath your child’s clothes. For more information, check out
  • Why does my child toe-walk?
    There are many reasons that children choose to walk on their toes. Many toddlers experiment with toe-walking. However, persistent toe walking may indicate a deviation in the typical progression of development. If your child is older than 3 years of age, there may be other reasons. Toe walking may indicate that there is tightness of muscles, tendons, and/or ligaments that encourages a toe-walking pattern. It may indicate that there is weakness in postural and leg muscles where the child chooses to lock his/her ankles, knees, and hips, which requires less work by the muscles. Many times children walk on their toes because of dysfunction in the area of sensory processing. There are two possible assumptions in the sensory areas. Some children may demonstrate the behavior due to a tactile aversion to having their heels touch the ground, while other children may be seeking additional body awareness input through the walking pattern. Please refer to your therapist if you have questions.