12201 Big Bend Rd., Kirkwood, MO 63122

Next Step: Neuro Exercises for Sensory Processing

What is Next Step?

1st Step Family Wellness launched their Neurofunctional Exercise Therapy for Sensory Integration and Emotional Processing Program in 2018, after noticing a need in the community for sensory processing therapy and support.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?  

Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a complex disorder of the brain that affects developing children as well as adults. Individuals with SPD misinterpret everyday sensory information received from the five far senses: touch, vision, sound, smell, and taste. In addition, there are three near senses that are rarely heard of: the vestibular, proprioceptive and interoceptive senses. The vestibular system has its function housed in the upper cervical spine (neck), the inner ear, and the base of the brain (cerebellum). The proprioceptive system sends messages to the brain from information received from the spinal joints as well as all other joints of the body. The Interoceptive system is information from the organs.

SPD Statistics

  • 1 in 6 children in the U.S. are said to have a sensory processing disorder
  • 1 in 45 children in the U.S. are said to be on the autism spectrum
  • More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined!

What are the Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder?

  • Aggressiveness
  • Clumsiness
  • Inattentive
  • Difficult
  • Learning disorders
  • Behavioral issues
  • Autism spectrum disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder Causes or Contributing Factors

  • Environment
  • Toxicity exposure
  • Birth trauma
  • Breech birth
  • Cesarean section birth
  • Hereditary
  • Retained primitive reflexes
  • Overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system
  • Spinal subluxations

Does My Child Have a Sensory Disorder: Other Signs of Sensory Dysregulation  

sensory dysregulation


  • Sensitive to sound (covers ears)


  • “W” sitting
  • Picky eating
  • Sensitive to tags/clothing textures
  • Doesn’t understand personal bubble
  • Allergies/sensitive to chemicals
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Motion sickness
  • Avoidance of crowds
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Bedwetting

Do Sensory Issues Mean My Child has Autism?

No. Sensory processing issues are only a piece of the puzzle for Autism. Every person has to process the world around them to respond in an appropriate manner. Any Child or adult can have trouble processing sensory information and how much this affects their daily living is where therapy would be needed. This does not mean that they have Autism.

Sensory Processing Disorder Therapy: How to Help a Child with SPD?

To get started with the NEXT STEP Program for SPD therapy you need to be established as a patient at 1st Step Family Wellness in St. Louis. The first visit is an hour to go through the health history of the patient. Depending on the case, chiropractic treatment may be started at the initial visit.

The next visit is a neurofunctional exam that takes an hour, to an hour and a half. It will help determine which primitive reflexes are still present and which sensory systems are deficient.

After both the new patient consult and neurofunctional exam, a custom chiropractic and exercise program will be designed. The exercise program consists of specific exercises to be done in the office and continued at home between visits. The exercises are adapted throughout the program as progression is shown. It takes time to retrain the brain.

For every primitive reflex still present, it takes approximately three months of therapy to integrate the primitive reflex and balance the sensory system.People often question whether a child can outgrow sensory issues; we have found that if the exercise program is followed through thoroughly at home, then it is possible to progress through the program quicker, and with drastic improvements.

Contact our office today for more information about the NEXT STEP Program or to schedule your examination.