(BLACKSBURG, VA., JULY 15, 2002) -- Approximately 15 percent of all children experience some type of sensory integration problem. Now, a functional, yet fun garment has been developed to help meet the therapeutic and play needs of preschool children with sensory integration dysfunction.
Sherry Haar, assistant professor of apparel and textiles at Kansas State University, and Joann Boles, retired professor of clothing and textiles at Virginia Tech, have received a patent for "Therapy Apparel for Children Diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction" (Patent No. 6,401,249, June 11, 2002).
Haar used the clothing design process developed by Boles to develop a theme-decorated therapy garment for pre-school children for use during occupational therapy. It was the first study of the clothing related therapy needs of preschool children with sensory integration dysfunction.
These dysfunctions occur in the sense of touch (tactile), sense of balance (vestibular), and sense of body awareness (propriopception). Children with sensory integration dysfunction may have difficulty maintaining balance and have difficulty with tasks that require coordinated use of opposing muscle groups, such as wringing out a wash cloth or pouring milk from a heavy container. Some children are overly sensitive to touch while others crave tactile input. In addition, these children may also have developmental delay of fine and gross motor skills.
Therapy includes activities that provide enhanced sensory experience. The patented ensemble is a tool to enhance therapy as far as the therapist is concerned and gives the therapy aspects of play as far as the child is concerned.
The outfit is made up of a sleeveless pullover top, cape, helmet, and weights. The prototype had a bug superhero theme. The top contains a series elastic straps designed for selective placement around the child's arms, knees, and feet to provide proprioceptive and tactile i
Contact: Susan Trulove or Cheryl May