Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, smell, taste and the pull of gravity. The process of the brain organising
and interpreting this information is called Sensory Integration.
Sensory Integration (SI) provides a crucial foundation for later, more complex learning and behaviour. For most Children, Sensory Integration develops in the
course of ordinary childhood activities.
Motor planning ability is a natural outcome of this process, as is the ability to adapt to incoming sensations. But, for some children, sensory integration does not
develop as efficiently as it should.
When this process is disordered, a number of problems in learning, development and behaviour may become evident.
We at Sensitivity, use Sensory Integration Therapy in our huge therapy room full of suspended equipment, ball pool and various other Multi sensory
play activities where a child directs the therapy , taking the lead and the therapists with their sound knowledge of Sensory Integration Principles
guides through the activity to achieve modulated behaviour, appropriate motor planning skills and self regulation.
Also, not all children with learning, developmental or behavioural problems have underlying sensory integration difficulties.
There are certain indicators, however, that can signal a parent that such difficulties may be present. We assess the child to identify the affected
Sensory areas and accordingly design the home plan .
Involving the parent in the therapy sessions is the most important facet to our treatment.
This may be manifested in behaviours such as irritability or withdrawal when touched, avoidance of certain textures of clothes or food, distractibility, fearful reactions to such ordinary movement activities (swinging, spinning).
Contrasted to the above, an under – responsive child may seek out sensory experiences such as whirling or crashing into people and objects. He or she may seem oblivious to pain or to body position. Some children fluctuate between extremes of over- and under – responsiveness.
The child may be constantly on the move or may be slow to warm –up and fatigue easily. Again some children may fluctuate between extremes.
This can be seen in gross and fine motor activities. Some children may have unusually poor balance, while others have great difficulty learning to do a new task that requires motor coordination
These may be evident in a pre-schooler along with other signs of poor sensory integration. In a school-aged child, there may be problems in some academic areas despite normal intelligence
This child may be impulsive or distractible and show a lack of planning in approach to tasks. Some children have difficulty adjusting to new situations. Others may react with frustration, aggression, or withdrawal when they encounter failure.
An important thing to remember when dealing with children is,
“…look at what the behaviour is trying to tell you, rather than looking at the behaviour as being negative or ‘bad’…”