Sensory integration (SI) is a neurological process that makes sense of and organizes sensations from one s own body and the surrounding environment.
SI is necessary in order to be able to use the body effectively within the environment.
SI is the foundation that allows for complex learning and behavior.
SI is founded on the following 8 senses:visual,auditory,touch, smell, taste,vestibular sense, proprioception and interoception.
Our brain takes in the information from the senses and uses it to form a full picture of who we are,where we are, and what is going on around us.
General symptoms with Sensory Integration dysfunction:
Difficulty “listening’ and sitting still
Difficulty in engaging with motor activities
Difficulty in coping with loud noises
Anxieties with transitions
Resistance to wearing different clothing. Bothered by tags,seams,etc
Food aversion and feeding difficulties
Resistance to self care activities (bathing, dressing,grooming)
Low body awareness,clumsiness,bumping,crashing,low regard for personal space
Difficulty with motor planning complex and multistep activities
An excessive need / want to move, walk,run,jump,crash or spin
Flight -or -fight responses (crying,aggression,eloping,etc) with challenging activities
Sensory Integration Therapy aims to help kids with sensory processing issues(which may referred to as “ sensory Integration disorder” by exposing them to sensory stimulation in a structured. Repetitive way. The theory behind it is that overtime, the brain will adapt and allow kids to process and react to sensations more efficiently.
Sensory Intergration Therapy driven by four key principles:
The child must be able to successfully meet the challenges that are presented through playful activities(just right challenge)
The child adapts his/her behavior with new and useful strategies in response to the challenges presented (Adaptive Response)
The child will want to participate because the activities are fun (active engagement)
The child s preferences are used to initiate therapeutic experiences within the session(child directed)
Examples of few activities:
Swinging in a hammock(movement through space)
Dancing to music(sound)
Playing in ball pool (touch)
Crawling through tunnels(touch and movement through space)
Hitting swinging balls(eye hand coordination)