When Loud Noises and Bright Lights Hurt

Most children have a sensory issue or two, such as hating loud fireworks or feeling clothing tags rubbing, that are simple annoyances. But for children with sensory processing disorder, these issues prevent them from functioning in everyday life, to the point of feeling anxiety and depression. The Sensory Learning Program offered by Dr. Jeffrey G. Schmakel, O.D. at Toledo Eye Care, can provide relief from these symptoms.

Sensory processing disorder, a condition where the brain has problems interpreting information gathered by the senses, can affect one or several senses, and people can be over or under-responsive to these senses. It can be present with a diagnosis of Autism, Asperger’s and ADD/ADHD, but it can also happen as a result of a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Dr. Schmakel’s program is open to everyone regardless of label or diagnosis.

The Sensory Learning Program was founded by Mary Bolles, and Dr. Schmakel brought it to Toledo in 2008. Since then, 350 participants from age 18 months to 76 years have gone through this 30-day, drug-free, non-cognitive therapy program.

The program uses light, sound and motion simultaneously to stimulate the brain to create new neural connections to help process sensory information. As a result of the program, participants have improved attention and concentration skills and more general awareness of the world around them. They can then begin other cognitive therapies that require patient participation to be effective.

Margie Hunter B.S. Ed., program administrator, said “It’s not an end or solution, it’s just a piece to work with other therapies.”

Toledo Eye Care is located at 3454 Oak Alley Ct., Suite 202.
For details about sensory integration therapy and general optometry services, please call 419-578-0057 or find them on Facebook at 

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