Sensory Integration is one of the key components to learning and development in children.

The ability to feel, understand, and organize all of the information collected by our senses, both from inside the body and from the environment, allows us to proceed through our day with curiosity and confidence.

Whether a child is getting dressed, climbing at the playground or doing school work, they rely on the accurate processing of sensations (touch, taste, smell, sound, sight & movement). Children who experience Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) have difficulty with integrating the sensory information received by their central nervous system in order to produce appropriate motor and behavioral responses.

Sensory Processing Disorder manifests itself in a variety of ways. How we approach treatment depends upon a number of factors, first and foremost being whether a child’s behavior is sensory seeking or sensory avoiding. These distinct responses often look like this:

Sensory Seeking Behaviors

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Seeks out movement
  • Always “on the go”
  • Constantly touches things
  • Messy eater
  • Takes excessive risks/Accident prone

Sensory Avoidance Behaviors

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Covers ears in response to noise
  • Avoids bright lights
  • Resists movement activities
  • Overly sensitive to clothing textures
  • Uncomfortable getting messy
  • Picky eater
  • Overly cautious

Everyone has a different sensory make-up. When a child’s sensory make-up falls outside the expected norm, it can interfere with his/her development and it is unlikely that it will resolve on its own.

Early identification and treatment through occupational therapy can help children better understand and take control of managing their unique sensitivities.

Want to learn more about Sensory Integration? Call us now.