Thursday, April 5, 2012

Inspiration In Illinois

There were many "stand-outs" during the competition, but one young lady and her amazing "gift", left me in awe.

Miss Lauren Miles has the most amazing gift with horses!  She lives with Sensory Integration Disorder-a form of autism, which she noted in the beginning of her presentation.  I was not familiar with the specifics of the disorder, but was amazed as I watched her video presentation of her ability to stand on a horses back and ride, teach them tricks and guide these beautiful animals (weighing a thousand pounds), to follow her direction.
To be able to accomplish this with Sensory Integration Disorder is miraculous!

I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren and her family after the competition.  Her mom, Sandra Goeken-Miles, is Ms. Classic Elite USA 2011.

It was then I learned the specifics of sensory integration and came to the realization of the challenges she faces on a daily basis, and the pure "gift" she has embraced.

Lauren has a beautiful aura and exudes such an enjoyment of life. 
I left this experience so inspired and full of gratitude to have been able to encounter such a miraculous and beautiful young woman and her lovely family.
I. Love. Pageantry.
Sensory Integration Disorder 

Sensory integration disorder or dysfunction (SID) is a neurological disorder that results from the brain's inability to integrate certain information received from the body's five basic sensory systems. These sensory systems are responsible for detecting sights, sounds, smell, tastes, temperatures, pain, and the position and movements of the body. The brain then forms a combined picture of this information in order for the body to make sense of its surroundings and react to them appropriately.
Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, smell, taste, and the pull of gravity. Distinguishing between these is the process of sensory integration (SI). While the process of SI occurs automatically and without effort for most, for some the process is inefficient. Extensive effort and attention are required in these individuals for SI to occur, without a guarantee of it being accomplished. When this happens, goals are not easily completed, resulting in sensory integration disorder (SID).


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