What Is Sensory Integration?
The experience of feeling encompasses the touch, kinesiology, proprioception, vision, hearing and gravitational sensory. How your brain organizes and interprets these pieces of information is sensory integration. Sensory integration is a significant foundation for more complex future learning. For most children, this is developed through the process of activities and games. It also impacts their movement and planning ability, which is the natural byproduct of how a child responds to outward stimulation.
However, for certain children, sensory integration might not develop as effectively as other children. When the development of sensory integration is delayed or blocked, children struggle with learning, development and behavior. The concept of sensory integration is developed by Dr. A. Jean Ayres. As an occupational therapist, Dr. Ayres focuses on how one’s sensory journey and movement planning ability interferes with daily life and learning. Additionally, studies about neuropsychology, neurology, physiology, child development and psychology have contributed greatly to the formation of these sensory integration and treatment strategies.
Who Needs Sensory Integration Training?
If a child displays symptoms of sensory integration dysfunction, he or she may benefit from sensory integration training. Common symptoms include:
- Over sensitivity to touch, movement, vision and sound.
- Poor response to touch, movement, vision and sound.
- Difficulty focusing, easily distracted, can’t sit still, daydreaming or absent-minded.
- Difficulty creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships and dealing with emotions.
- Activity is overly high or low.
- Slow and awkward during daily life.
- Lack of self-control or hostility.
- Difficulty adapting to a new environment or atmosphere.
- Cannot calm down.
- Delayed development in language or motions.
- Poor in self-awareness.
- Behind in academics.
The Key to Promoting Your Child’s Sensory Integration
The most important step in promoting your child’s sensory integration is to acknowledge the existence of sensory integration and understand the role it plays in your child's development. Through a deeper understanding of sensory integration, parents and teachers can provide an abundant environment to help kids grow healthily.