Sensory integration is the process through which we sense the world around us. We use our sensory organs to receive information and, on a higher level, we organize it so we understand our surroundings and respond appropriately.
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 THERAPY AND SENSORY DIETS
Many OTs now use this type of exposure as part of a more extensive “sensory diet” treatment. It includes not only things like balance treatments, movement therapy and structured exposure to sensory input, but also carefully designed and tailored physical activities and accommodations.
The routine of activities in a sensory diet fits your child’s exact needs and schedule. They can be done at therapy sessions and at home under your supervision. If you’re interested in SI therapy, get specifics on how sensory diets work and what an example sensory diet can look like. You can also hear an expert talk about sensory diets.
It’s important to know that not all experts think traditional SI therapy can help kids with sensory processing issues. And many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, caution that research on SI therapy’s effectiveness is limited and inconclusive.