Tens of thousands of dollars at every turn, is sensory integration training an "IQ tax"?

Children's sensory integration training market chaos investigation

● In recent years, more and more parents have paid attention to their children's sensory integration ability, and the sensory integration training industry has emerged. Many children are labeled as "sensory disorders" due to carelessness and lack of concentration

● Most of the online sensory integration training exchange groups are established by sensory integration trainers, as long as parents indicate the child's situation in the group, sensory integration trainers will attribute the reason to the child's sensory integration disorder, and advise parents to train their children as soon as possible

● There are many chaos in the juvenile sensory integration training industry: on the one hand, some children's training institutions and early education institutions create anxiety for parents under the banner of sensory integration disorders; On the other hand, the quality of sensory integration training is uneven, with arbitrary pricing and higher fees

● To improve the quality of education and rehabilitation of children with special needs, it is necessary to strengthen the training of practitioners and comprehensively improve the skills and abilities of practitioners. At the same time, relevant departments should introduce a standardized management mechanism that can standardize sensory integration therapy

□ Zhao Li, reporter of this newspaper

□ Intern Liu Jiaojiao

In the 700 yuan sensory integration training course, in order to prevent 3-year-old children from looking left and right, the training teacher grabbed his shoulders when giving instructions, requiring that he must look at each other; After 4 lessons, as long as he stands in front of the classroom door, the child will cry and even yell... This is the sensory integration training experience of Lin Yue (pseudonym) family in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and finally had to choose to withdraw from the class.

A year later, the child, who was judged by the training teacher to be "sensory dysregulation" and concluded that "if you don't go to the training course immediately, you won't be able to sit still for even 10 minutes in the future, and it's impossible to go to school properly", and slowly sat still, "one building block for an hour without moving the nest, and the painting class for 90 minutes is also very focused."

What happened to Lin Yue's family is not an isolated case.

In recent years, more and more parents have paid attention to their children's sensory integration ability, and the sensory integration training industry has emerged. Many children's training institutions and early education institutions have also launched targeted improvement courses, and children have been labeled as "sensory disorders" by training institutions due to carelessness and lack of concentration, and some parents do not hesitate to spend tens of thousands of yuan or more to let their children go to training courses.

However, a recent investigation by a reporter from "Rule of Law Daily" found that there are many chaos in the juvenile sensory integration training industry: on the one hand, some children's training institutions and early education institutions create anxiety for parents under the banner of sensory integration disorders; On the other hand, the quality of sensory integration training is uneven, with arbitrary pricing and higher fees. In addition, the entry threshold of the sensory integration training industry is low, and the so-called sensory integration trainers have unprofessional services and lack of qualifications.

Hype up sensory dysfunction

It's a peddling of training courses

"Visual disorders, hearing disorders, tactile disorders, vestibular disorders, proprioceptive disorders, come and see if these five categories have your children?" Sensory disorders should be vigilant, do not miss the best treatment period! Reporters searched online for "sensory integration training" as a keyword, and similar propaganda could be seen everywhere.

It is understood that sensory integration is sensory integration, which refers to the organization of sensory information in various parts of human organs, and the brain integrates to complete the response to perceptions outside the body. Sensory dysregulation is the abbreviation of sensory integration disorder, that is, a condition of brain dysfunction, also known as learning ability disorder, which occurs in infants and young children in the process of growth.

The reporter joined a number of communication groups related to sensory integration training, and through continuous observation, it was found that most of these sensory integration training exchange groups were established by children's training institutions or sensory integration trainers for the purpose of publicizing their sensory integration training courses.

In a "sensory integration training and learning exchange group" of more than 200 people, the group leader "Sensory Integration Training Teacher Wei" will publish his recorded home sensory integration training videos every day, and also answer parents' doubts.

"Can a 5-year-old child in kindergarten practice if he is in a daze and wanders in class, missing words or adding words when reading questions?" Qunyou Xiaoji's mother asked. Teacher Wei, the leader of the group, immediately replied: "You can practice, you should intervene as soon as possible." ”

Seeing that Xiaoji's mother did not reply, Teacher Wei began to "popularize science" again: "0 to 3 years old is the golden period of sensory integration intervention, 3 to 6 years old is the improvement period, and 6 to 12 years old is the consolidation period. I hope that parents will pay more attention to their children's situation, early detection and early treatment, and do not miss the critical period of treatment! ”

The reporter noticed that in the group, parents describe their children's situation differently, and some descriptions are more general, but these so-called sensory integration trainers will attribute the cause to the child's sensory integration disorder, and advise parents to train their children as soon as possible.

Lin Yue said that she started the road of sensory integration training because her child could not sit still in the early education class and ran around the scene, coupled with the fact that the early education consultant said that the child had a problem with sensory integration and recommended the sensory integration training course of her institution.

To this end, Lin Yue paid more than 200,<> yuan in one breath, "an average of more than <> yuan a class, just started a big class, the classroom items include throwing a leather ball, rolling a yoga ball, walking a balance beam, hanging on a swing and spinning in a circle, etc."

However, the child's situation did not improve - he looked left and right when the trainer gave instructions, and started running around again while waiting in line. After three classes, the trainer found Lin Yue again and said, "The child's condition is very serious, it is recommended to take one-on-one lessons, the price is also soaring, and it costs 3 yuan for one class."

The reporter noticed that in addition to peddling offline sensory integration training courses, there are also some group owners and bloggers who are selling online courses: "You don't need tens of thousands of yuan in offline training fees, it only takes 3 days to understand sensory integration disorders, and you can also help children find the ultimate training secret at home!" Another blogger said that parents can choose to study courses and home training, that is, parents become family sensory integration training instructors through training, and then buy some teaching aids to train their children at home, and the cost of such training will be greatly reduced.

The courses are long and expensive

Effort was expended and no effect was seen

The reporter consulted a number of relevant training institutions and found that sensory integration training courses are often time-consuming and expensive, causing a lot of burden to families. Sensory integration training includes five items, such as tactile training, vestibular balance training, and kinesthetic training, according to the specific situation of the child, choose a certain training method, and take the form of a series of small games to intervene in the child's sensory system.

Fees vary greatly depending on the teaching format, teaching location, teaching content, etc. If the offline fee is higher than the online charge, the one-to-one sensory integration training and one-to-many have different charging standards; Fees in first-tier cities are generally higher than in second- and third-tier cities; Inclusive training that accommodates children's abilities costs significantly more than individual training. Overall, the cost of sensory integration training is mostly between 100 yuan and 400 yuan per hour.

When the reporter visited and consulted as a parent, Teacher Wang of a children's training institution in Beijing said that his institution has a complete set of test scoring standards to determine whether the child has sensory dysregulation and the degree of disorder. The degree of dysregulation was severe, moderate, and mild. Targeted training is arranged according to different degrees, the time is 1 to 3 years, and the cost ranges from 1,8 yuan to <>,<> yuan.

Teacher Wang said that the training frequency of mild disorders is about twice a week, the cost of a year is between 1,2 yuan and 1,2 yuan, and the training time is about 4 year. Moderate disorder needs to evaluate the child's specific situation to determine the training program, the frequency of training is mostly 3 to 5 times a week, comprehensive differences, the cost of a year is between 3,6 yuan and 1,<> yuan. Severe disorder needs to be adjusted to moderate disorder in <> months to <> months, and then spend about <> year from moderate disorder training to mild disorder, and then from mild disorder training to normal state.

The reporter randomly interviewed 15 families who had participated in sensory integration training, and the cost of classes exceeded 150,15 yuan, which translates to the cheapest single lesson fee of <> yuan, and the most expensive one is <> yuan. Among these <> families, most of them were labeled as "sensory system disorders" by training institutions because their children had different degrees of inattention, did not listen to instructions, and some were just timid and afraid of life, and recommended relevant training courses.

However, respondents generally reflected: spending so much energy and expenses, no effect, is simply paying an "IQ tax".

When Xiaoya, a Beijing boy, was 4 years old, he was taken to a sensory integration training institution by his parents because his kindergarten teacher said that he might have sensory integration disorders. "The more you report, the more you hoard, the lower the unit price. The trainer said that a class is more than 300 yuan, with a minimum of 4 lessons a week, and 6 lessons a week as you get older. In this way, Xiaoya's mother once paid nearly 100,4 yuan for 11 classes at one time, and the cumulative expenditure of training expenses in the past two years reached <>,<> yuan.

"At the beginning of half a year, it worked, so I persevered for nearly two years, always hoping to make a breakthrough. But when I go to elementary school, I find that some of my children's behaviors are getting worse and worse. Finally, I went to the hospital for multiple diagnoses and found that it was developmental delay caused by chronic food allergies. Xiaoya's mother recalled that after stopping the sensory integration training course, Xiaoya's so-called sensory integration symptoms disappeared after professional hospital treatment and effective outdoor parent-child activities.

Simple learning, easy certification

You can start working with a short training

In the eyes of many people in the industry, the reason why there are various chaos in the sensory integration training industry is closely related to the lack of standardization and professional talents in the entire industry.

According to the survey, most of the teachers who do sensory integration training in the market are named national sensory integration counselors and family sensory integration trainers. However, the reporter learned from the interview that sensory integration trainers and sensory integration consultants do not have so-called national recognition or state-issued certificates, not skill level certificates, nor practice certificates or qualification certificates. The so-called sensory integration trainer certificate can only prove that you have studied the relevant courses of sensory integration training, and many units and institutions can issue sensory integration training certificates.

The reporter learned in the examination intermediary as a sensory integration trainer that to obtain the sensory integration trainer certificate, you only need to meet the requirements of 18 years old or above, there is no restriction on majors, as long as you graduate from high school, you can apply for the exam. The registration process is to pay the fee, take the course online, take the exam, and pass the certificate to get it. And most of the examination intermediaries promise that the certificate is recognized by the industry, used nationwide, passed the examination once, does not require annual review, and is valid for life.

When the reporter mentioned that there was no time to study, a training agent replied: "It doesn't matter if you don't have time to study, the institution will send exam questions and answers in advance to practice to ensure that you can get the certificate." ”

Through the investigation of different certificate training institutions, it was found that the fee for the examination of sensory integration trainers is about 1000,10 yuan, and online registration and online examinations can be issued about <> days after passing the examination.

In addition, the reporter also found in the examination market that some intermediaries even "sold" sensory integration trainer certificates under the slogan of "substitute examination".

"Now the certificates of sensory integration teachers on the market are all 'straight out', and there is no need to take the exam yourself." An examination agent said that the so-called "straight out" is a substitute test.

When asked by a reporter whether the substitute test would be discovered, the agent replied that it would not be found, and although the test required checking of ID cards, face recognition was not performed.

According to further investigation, this "straight out" sensory integration trainer certificate costs about 600 yuan.

In addition, the reporter searched for "joining sensory integration training institutions" on social platforms and received hundreds of franchise information.

According to public information, if you want to join a sensory integration training institution, the investment cost starts from 30,<> yuan, and the headquarters provides remote assistance in site selection, industry background analysis, unified decoration, short-term training, technical operation training, standardized operation, promotional activity planning and other franchise support. Through the process of joining application, signing a contract, store site selection, store decoration, personnel training, opening preparation, etc., the new store can be opened and operated.

The reporter consulted a sensory integration training brand in Guangdong as a franchisee, and when asked what kind of qualifications are required to join the training center, the other party said that no qualifications are needed, as long as the business license is normally processed.

When asked whether the other party is required to have a sensory integration trainer certificate when recruiting employees, the brand said: "The headquarters will provide personnel training, and can also provide relevant self-study courses, and there is no need to use the trainer certificate as a recruitment threshold." After the store enters regular operation, it can also train employees on its own, and there is no need to deliberately require the sensory integration trainer certificate. ”

In the investigation, the reporter also found that there is no threshold for applying for sensory integration trainers in some training institutions, "as long as you love education." The reporter consulted a number of sensory integration training institutions as applicants, and different institutions have slightly different requirements for candidates, but most institutions do not restrict the candidate's major, nor do they need the relevant certificates of sensory integration trainers.

For employees who do not have any professional foundation in sensory integration training, some training institutions say that they provide training and then take up the job for 3 to 7 days.

There is an urgent need to regulate the development of the industry

Establish a standard management mechanism

In recent years, the attention to children's sensory integration disorder and sensory integration training has increased day by day, and the sensory integration training industry has also risen and chaos has frequently emerged. In view of the various problems in the sensory integration training industry, insiders believe that the problem should be solved in a timely manner.

"Every child has individual differences, development is ordered, if parents cannot accept a certain aspect of their children 'slower', sensory disorders are a perfect 'basket', some institutions can make money." Beijing mother Liu Yali (pseudonym) said that because her child was timid and afraid of life, she let her child participate in sensory integration training under the foolishness of the training institution, spending a total of more than 20,000 yuan, and finally diagnosed by a professional medical institution that her child was just "more cautious".

Dr. Liu, who is engaged in research on the comprehensive development of children's mental health in a Beijing maternal and child health care hospital, told reporters that children themselves are in rapid dynamic development, and the existence of individual developmental differences within a certain range is also very reasonable, not really sensory disorders. Parents need to look at this scientifically and remain rational. Whether the child has sensory system disorders, training institutions and early education institutions cannot make a professional diagnosis, should be diagnosed by professional medical institutions.

Chen Jing, a psychotherapist engaged in the corresponding psychotherapy of autistic children in Beijing, told reporters that there are currently very few therapists who can respect children's responses in the process of sensory integration intervention, carry out purposeful and meaningful play activities according to individual characteristics, and consider their adaptive responses.

"Formal professional sensory assessment and training are very important." Wang Xiaorong, director of a sensory integration organization who has been engaged in the sensory integration training industry for many years in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, said frankly that the industry problem of "sensory integration disorder is a 'basket', and everything can be loaded into it" is indeed caused by the irresponsibility of some practitioners.

"A family once approached me because of problems such as children's lack of concentration and delayed language development, and I later learned that it was indeed sensory disorders. But before that, a lot of time was wasted. Wang Xiaorong said, for example, go to the relevant institutions to evaluate, and the result says that it is autism; Going to the children's physical fitness center is said to be due to lack of exercise, flat feet cause developmental delay, and corresponding physical training should be done; Taking the child to do pediatric massage is said to be because of the spleen and stomach discord caused by developmental delay.

In the view of the interviewed industry insiders, in order to improve the quality of education and rehabilitation of children with special needs, it is necessary to strengthen the training of practitioners, from theory, evaluation, to treatment practice, and comprehensively improve the skills and abilities of practitioners. At the same time, relevant departments should introduce a standardized management mechanism that can standardize sensory integration therapy, and introduce strict and effective management standards and models in terms of practitioners' qualifications, on-the-job training content, on-the-job qualification assessment, and on-the-job continuing education.

At the same time, industry insiders remind parents that for two- and three-year-old children, their attention may be about 10 minutes, and by the time they reach elementary school, their concentration may reach 30 minutes. If parents find some signs, such as poor coordination of children, skipping words when reading and writing, they can go to regular hospitals for treatment, do not believe the so-called sensory disorders of some early education institutions and training institutions, increase their anxiety for no reason, and spend money wrongly. (Rule of Law Daily)