Helping Children, Adults and Families
STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder (STAR Institute) is a world leader in research, education and advocacy for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), a neurological condition that doesn’t allow the brain to interpret sensory information correctly. STAR Institute, located in Greenwood Village, Colo., provides hope and help to children and adults living with SPD as well as their families.
Together, we’re helping bring more awareness to the disorder, and share the important work that the STAR Institute does to treat adults and children affected by SPD. Our collaboration has led to the creation of a sensory playground at the STAR Institute, which is helping move SPD therapy outdoors.
Therapy in a “Natural” Setting
Because playgrounds are an important part of children’s lives and they provide opportunities to play, learn and socialize, the inclusive playground at STAR Institute is used as a therapy tool and this “natural” setting will be incorporated into children’s daily lives. Occupational therapists and other SPD experts will monitor children’s interactions on the equipment and document behavior changes, which will become valuable support materials for our sensory products.
Meet Dr. Lucy Jane Miller
Lucy founded the SPD Foundation in 1979, and served as its executive director. In 2005, she founded the STAR Center, which was designed to provide cutting-edge treatment solutions to children and adults with SPD. In 2016, the two non-profit organizations merged, forming the new STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, strengthening the mission of both organizations. Lucy is also a prolific author, with more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and several published books. She has developed the STAR treatment model, which has been demonstrated through research to be effective. Even more, she is spearheading the effort to have SPD recognized as a diagnostic entity separate from other disorders.
We are excited to have Dr. Miller on our Inclusive Play Advisory Board to help us learn more about how therapy in natural settings—especially playgrounds—helps treat children touched by the disorder.
"Children with SPD experience touch, taste, sound, smell, movement and other sensations differently from typical children. Some feel sensations more intensely, others feel them less intensely, and some just don't get sensory information right — 'up' feels the same as 'down,' or a penny feels the same as a button."
Educating Professionals, Parents and Advocates
In addition to treating children and adults with SPD, STAR Institute offers online courses, national and international symposiums, and advanced mentorships for therapists, educators and physicians. Through these educational opportunities, professionals learn from SPD experts including Dr. Lucy Jane Miller.