Monthly Archives: March 2010

Janet traveled to snowy Madison, Wisconsin last month to participate in a small group workshop that was taught by two of her favorite instructors, Mary Kawar and Sheila Frick.  It was a fabulous opportunity to study and meet other therapists from around the US and Canada who share Janet’s passion for precise interventions that target the vestibular-auditory-visual sensory triad.

Mary and Sheila’s collaboration began 15 years ago.  Mary was particularly interested in looking at the vestibular system in relation to vision while Sheila expanded her awareness of the vestibular-auditory continuum.  Janet had taken several classes with Sheila surrounding Therapeutic Listening ™ and had been using their Core Concepts In Action ™ Program.  She wanted updates to the older programs and to have a chance to learn more about the Astronaut Training ™, a program developed by Mary.

Each of the three systems (vestibular, auditory and visual) simultaneously provides unique, complementary information for the body to respond adaptively to an ever-changing environment.  The vestibular system is our internal GPS system that orients our body and helps us to navigate through space.

The vestibular system does its work automatically and forms the continuous background of our experience.  Clues that are suggestive of poor vestibular processing include poor balance, being over or under active, feeling “lost in space”, dislike of being in the dark and being super vigilant visually.  These are the children who may avoid movement and dynamic environments and who have poor organizational skills.

The small format of the course provided lots of lab time to expand some tried and true therapy techniques as well as to explore  fun and new ideas for treatment of this very responsive triad.

After-class adventures gave Janet a chance to catch up with a high school friend, explore the Madison campus and capitol areas and spend extra time with her classmates from Atlanta and Hood River.  It also cemented her impression that moving from the snowy Midwest to attend college in the Northwest was one of her best-ever life decisions!

Lindt chocolates will make a donation to Autism Speaks for each gold bunny and e-card sold this Easter season.  Throughout the month of April, which is Autism Awareness Month, Lindt will make additional contributions to Autism Speaks with the auctioning of   Rosenthal Porcelain Rabbits.  Check it out at

Sensory Processing, often referred to as Sensory Integration, describes the manner in which the nervous system receives and processes information from sensory systems allowing an individual to make adaptive motor and behavioral responses.

Based on research from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, SPD affects 1 in every 20 children.  With extensive research and advocacy from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, the American Psychiatric Association is considering the addition of “Sensory Processing Disorder” to the DSM-V.  The SPD Foundation will be collecting evidence until 4/20/10 and then sending it to the American Psychiatric Association to support the SPD classification.  Having SPD included in the new DSM-V, which will be published in 2013, would open up an array of positive changes for children who have Sensory Processing Disorder, including  possibilities for additional public school classifications, available therapies, treatment and public recognition.

For more information, go to:

Reprinted from an article by Doriet Bialer MA, OTR/L, Summit Professional Education website: