SENSORY refers to our senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste, and awareness of motion/movement and gravity). Information from your senses tells you much about your world.
INTEGRATION is the process of allowing the brain to use and make sense of the information that the senses take in.
Occupational therapy programs are based on understanding how people deal with life’s sensations. We specifically look and test for how an individual perceives or organises sensations from life and body experiences. Essentially, the occupational therapist is trying to see if the child’s internal sensory systems are working properly together.
We use sensory integration for all activities, but occupational therapists are especially concerned about organisation of sensory information for use in the classroom, the playground, activities of daily living (home), and finally, relationships and interactions with others.
The sensory integration approach is based on the research and writings of many therapists and physicians. Dr Jean Ayres, an occupational therapist, was a leading contributor to this way of looking at how children (and adults) develop and interact with their environment. She developed one of the main theories of sensory integration, and created testing procedures and treatment techniques based upon sensory integration theory. Her methods have been widely used for over forty years.
Sensory integration is a specialised approach that requires post-graduate training and clinical experience.
Christine Siddle has gained specialist training and experience in this approach from the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA. Tania Houghton is also a qualified sensory integration therapist.
Information about ‘sensory integration’ is constantly evolving and consequently we have purchased a number of NEW sensory questionnaires: The School Companion (completed by teachers of students aged 3-11 years) and a ‘supplemental manual and questionnaire’ for our current parent sensory profile (3-11 years). Information from these questionnaires are used in combination with ’observations’ in the student’s school.
This provides us with comprehensive information about how sensory processing difficulties may impact on the student’s behavioural, social and emotional responses.
If you answer ‘yes’ to 5 or more questions, then please contact us to discuss the possibility of a sensory integration assessment for your child.
DOES YOUR CHILD:
If you (and your child’s teacher) answered ‘yes’ to many of the above questions, then please contact us for a sensory integration assessment. Your child has a good chance of developing into a competent, self-regulating, smoothly functioning adult, if he or she receives understanding, support, and early intervention.
Sensory integration treatment helps the child to process all the senses so they can work together. When the child actively engages in meaningful activities that provide the intensity, duration, and quality of sensation his central nervous system craves, his adaptive behaviour improves, which leads to better sensory integration. As a result, perceptions, learning, competence, and self-confidence improve. The child becomes able to plan, organise, and carry out what he needs and wants to do.
Treatment now helps him build a strong foundation for the future when life becomes more demanding and complex. Without treatment, SI Dysfunction persists as a life-long problem. Indeed, the child will not grow out of it but will grow into it. Treatment helps the child develop skills to interact successfully in social situations. It gives the child the tools to become a more efficient learner. It improves the child’s emotional well-being and family relationships.