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|The Impossible Child - Page 14|
Evan is a different child today than he was 18 months ago, when I first sat on that chair in Rebecca's clinic watching him fail. Collaboration between a talented occupational therapist, a sensitive teacher and parents who were willing to be flexible opened up new possibilities for him. He is a happy, successful first grader in a public school. He makes it through most days without a serious problem. He is kind and funny and affectionate. He is still clumsy, and he will probably never be athletic; but he has developed an astonishing talent for art. Best of all, he believes in himself.
The other morning as I drove him to school, we were talking about all the things he can do now. "I just might be the best person there ever was," he said dreamily. I smiled at him through a sudden mist of tears and kept driving, convinced that we're heading in the right direction.
Karen Smith, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Athens, Georgia. She is currently writing a book about the possible connections between disruptive behavior and sensory integrative dysfunction. Address: 892 Prince Avenue, Athens, GA 30606; e-mail address: email@example.com
Sensory Integration: A Primer
The theory of sensory integration (SI) attempts to explain a process so integral to our experience that few of us are aware of it--the organization, interpretation and utilization of the continuous stream of input from our eyes, ears, skin, tendons, muscles and joints. As Evan recently commented: "Your brain is all over your body." Once we understand that, we are on our way to appreciating the many ways children's lives can be disrupted by sensory integrative dysfunction.