Step into the STAR Center in Greenwood Village, and you’ll think you’ve entered a high-tech tumbling gym: Kids zip-line into a ball pit and bounce around an interactive light-and-sound arena. But behind the fun is research-based therapy to help treat Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

SPD, which affects five to 16 percent of U.S. kids, makes it difficult for the body to interpret sensations correctly, resulting in behavior issues or difficulty accomplishing everyday tasks. Almost all SPD patients have trouble with social participation.

STAR’s occupational therapists design customized programs that combine sensory-driven play with diagnostic assessments to improve brain function in patients and to give parents and kids coping tools. “The kids learn to regulate their emotions,” says STAR founder and director Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, “and to play, be themselves, and feel comfortable in their own skin—just the everyday things that make life livable.”