Sensory Integration Interventions
Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, taste, sight, sound and the pull of gravity. The process of the brain organizing and interpreting this information is called sensory integration (SI). SI provides a crucial foundation for later, more complex learning and behavior. For most children, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities. Motor planning ability is a natural outcome of the 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 the process is disordered, a number of problems in learning, development or behavior may become evident. Effective sensory processing and modulation is needed to perform self-help, social, community, motor and academic skills. For clients that benefit from this therapy approach, sensory integration techniques are incorporated into Occupational Therapy sessions at both NTS locations.
Sensory integration therapy aims to help kids with sensory processing issues (which some people may refer to as “sensory integration disorder”) by exposing them to sensory stimulation in a structured, repetitive way. The theory behind it is that over time, the brain will adapt and allow kids to process and react to sensations more efficiently.
Sensory integration (SI) therapy should be provided by a specially trained occupational therapist (OT). The OT determines through a thorough evaluation whether your child would benefit from SI therapy. In traditional SI therapy, the OT exposes a child to sensory stimulation through repetitive activities.
The OT gradually makes activities more challenging and complex. The idea is that through repetition, your child’s nervous system will respond in a more “organized” way to sensations and movement.