Sensory Integration (SI)
When children feel overwhelmed and overstimulated, their physical and behavioural development can be affected.
Sensory Integration/Sensory Processing is a theory pioneered in the 1960s by Dr A. Jean Ayres, an Occupational Therapist and educational psychologist.
Dr Ayres defined sensory integration as:
“the organization of sensations for use. Our senses give us information about the physical conditions of our body and the environment around us…The brain must organize all of our sensations if a person is to move and learn and behave in a productive manner.”
Sensory integration therapy uses play activities to change the way in which the brain reacts to different stimulation – touch, sound, sight and movement.
It can positively influence your child’s attention, co-ordination, social participation and behaviour, leading to improvements at home, at school and better engagement in the wider community.
Sensory Integration Disorder – sometimes called Sensory Processing Disorder is a term that refers
“to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioural responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bike or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation as ‘sensory integration.’”
Children who will benefit:
We start by assessing and evaluating children using Sensory Observations and standard assessments such as Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) – these measure the sensory integration processes behind children’s learning and behaviour.
By revealing how your child responds to sensory input, these tests help pinpoint specific organic problems associated with learning disabilities, emotional issues and praxis problems. For example;
- Under or over responsiveness to stimulation e.g. touch, sound, taste
- Avoiding crowds and noisy places
- Inability to perform fine motor tasks such as fastenings
- Always on the go, constantly fidgeting
- Unable to focus and concentrate on a task
- Finds sitting difficult and needs to prop themselves up or else slumping
- Appears low toned with clumsy movements
- Poor language and social skills
- Behaviour can be on ‘melt down alert’
- Difficulty transitioning between activities
Ways we can help
Although Sensory Processing difficulties cannot be diagnosed as a dysfunction, our Sensory Integrative Therapists can provide support through treatment, sensory diets and programmes at home, in school and at our clinic. This will develop your child’s nervous system and maturation of the brain, reducing SI difficulties and improving purposeful performance in everyday living.
Other therapies can work very effectively in conjunction with Sensory Integration and have been successfully used by our team. These include:
Feel free to ask us about how we assess and evaluate children using the principles of Sensory Integration.
All our Therapists work to a set protocol, which includes agreed goals, one-to-one sessions and comprehensive feedback.
To find out how we can help you and your child, call us on 01664 567917. You can also get in touch here.
For more information about Sensory Therapy, visit:
The Sensory Integration Network
“My son has been working with CTS since September. When he started he was unable to do many simple everyday tasks, was disruptive in class and very frustrated. Through SI intervention his OT has taught him, his teachers and me how to maximise his abilities. He is now a much happier, more confident little boy who is now finding school much less traumatic and is now succeeding. His OT has also taught me strategies to use at home to make my life much easier. Thank you”