Kid-Eze Therapy Services

Sensory Integration Assessment for Primary Schoolers

What is Sensory Integration?

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.

About the Assessment

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. 

Sensory Integration Checklist For A School Aged Child

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:

  • Either over-react or under-react to physically painful experiences?
  • Either avoid or crave messy activities?
  • Dislike being touched, especially unexpectedly?
  • Crave being touched?
  • Seek out physically aggressive contact e.g. rough and tumble play, crashing into furniture, floors or people?
  • Avoid using hands for prolonged periods of time or for examining objects thoroughly?
  • Have poor balance?
  • Have difficulty going up and down stairs or hills?
  • Rock in chair or assume an upside-down position?
  • Prop head in hands while reading or writing?
  • Seem fearful in space, particularly when feet leave the ground (e.g. swings)?
  • Fear or avoid vigorous, fast-moving activities at the playground?
  • Seem sensitive to movement, getting dizzy or seasick?
  • Prefer fast moving or spinning activities, perhaps not getting dizzy or seeming less sensitive than most children to the effects?
  • Have difficulty with scissors, crayons, pencils, buttons, and/or with handwriting?
  • Seem clumsy and accident-prone?
  • Have difficulty learning new movement activities and/or dislikes trying them?
  • Have to be reminded to hold the paper while writing?
  • Appear stiff and rigid?
  • Have poor standing and/or sitting posture?
  • Grasp objects too tightly or too loosely?
  • Tire easily?
  • Become frightened or irritated by loud noises?
  • Appear overly sensitive to background sounds?
  • Have difficulty paying attention amid surrounding noise?
  • Often shout or speak in a loud voice?
  • Frequently make repetitive noises or sounds?
  • Fail to follow through on verbal requests?
  • Need directions repeated?
  • Confuse spoken words?
  • Miss some sounds?
  • Appear sensitive to light, preferring dark or dim lighting?
  • Have difficulty discriminating shapes or colours?
  • Have difficulty keeping eyes on objects?
  • Have difficulty following a moving object or line of print smoothly with eyes; loses place?
  • Squint, rub eyes, and get headaches or watery eyes after reading?
  • Become excited with a lot of visual stimuli?
  • Resist having vision blocked?
  • Reverse or confuse numbers, letter, or whole words?
  • Have difficulty with written instructions?
  • Have difficulty copying from blackboard or books?
  • Become restless or fidgety?
  • Appear impulsive, often jumping up before instructions are given?
  • Have difficulty organising or structuring activities?

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.