STAR Center’s Dr. Lucy Jane Miller to Present at the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting and Expo

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The STAR Center’s Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR/L and Landscape Structures’ John McConkey will speak about playground design for children with developmental disorders at ASLA’s Annual Meeting and Expo.

The sensory playground at the STAR Center.

We hope to inspire a new way of thinking about elements of landscape design and play components that facilitate self-regulation and social participation for all children and contribute to a quality experience in sensory playgrounds and gardens.

The ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO is the largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students from across the U.S. and around the world. Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, founder of the STAR Center, will co-present with John McConkey, Market Insights Manager for Landscape Structures, Inc “Evidence-Based Landscape Design: Pilot Study of Children with Developmental Disorders” on Friday, November 21, 2014 at the Colorado Convention Center.

The STAR (Sensory Therapies and Research) Center, located in Greenwood Village, Colorado, uses its state-of-the-art sensory playground, designed and manufactured by Landscape Structures Inc., as a therapy tool to treat children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). More than just through play, children with developmental disorders benefit from strategically designed sensory playgrounds and sensory gardens. This study evaluated outcomes of outdoor play using a multiple baseline research design. The lessons are applicable to future sensory gardens and play areas within broad fields of architecture and landscape architecture.

Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurological disorder that disrupts the way an individual processes and responds to sensations. STAR Center is the premier treatment center for children with sensory challenges. Individuals with SPD may over- or under-respond to one or more sensations (e.g., a loud sound, or light touch), crave sensations or may have problems with motor skills and coordination.

The STAR Center also installed a sensory garden and innovative education program called Project GROW with a generous grant from the Colorado Garden Foundation (who also produces the annual Colorado Garden & Home Show). The strategically planted garden surrounds the STAR Center’s Sensory Playground and combines education with a therapeutic sensory garden that addresses the needs of children with SPD through plants that are selected based on their sensory characteristics including smell, taste, texture and visual presentation.

A tour of the STAR Center’s sensory playground and sensory garden will be available for attendees of ASLA.

“We are thrilled to be able to share what we have learned from our research,” said Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Founder of STAR Center and Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation. “We hope to inspire a new way of thinking about elements of landscape design and play components that facilitate self-regulation and social participation for all children and contribute to a quality experience in sensory playgrounds and gardens.”

About STAR Center
STAR Center, a Colorado 501(c)(3), is the premier treatment center for children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder, feeding disorders, and other sensory conditions associated with ADHD, autism, and other developmental disorders. STAR Center offers intensive ³burst² treatment that research shows is effective in treating sensory issues. Parents are involved throughout the process so families can learn to create sensory lifestyles and continue to see progress after the formal treatment program ends. Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, founder of STAR Center and Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, is widely recognized as the leader in Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) research worldwide. The STAR Center focuses on improving developmental abilities, self-esteem, social interaction and self-regulation of children through engagement and sensory-based occupational therapy.

About Landscape Structures
In January 2010, Landscape Structures, Inc., introduced a revolutionary playground design solution to bring new sensory play experiences to playgrounds at elementary schools, childcare centers and city parks, and establish new standards for inclusive playgrounds worldwide. As part of focusing on creating truly inclusive playgrounds, Landscape Structures has introduced a suite of sensory play products that provide rich tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, visual and auditory experiences, and help develop motor-planning skills and social/imaginative play behaviors. In addition, the company’s playground designers developed a design philosophy that addresses the environment, the play experience and variability to guide all of its inclusive playground designs.

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