Sensory integration

Refers to how our senses work together to organize and process incoming sensory information from the world around us.
It is our ability to take in, sort, connect and process different sensations from our bodies and the environment for use in our day to day activities.
Sensory processing underlies all behavior. Sensory Processing Disorders (SPDs) can have a profound adverse influence on all subsequent development because they significantly interfere with abilities to learn, interact with others, perform tasks, and participate in activities. 

Some signs of Sensory Integration Dysfunction
* Overly sensitive to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
* Under reactive to touch, movement, sights, or sounds easily distracted
* Activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
* Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
* Impulsive, lacking in self control
* Difficulty making transitions from one situation to another
* Inability to unwind or calm self

Persons with SPDs often develop compensatory behaviors (which are typically maladaptive) to avoid or obtain needed sensations. Such compensatory behaviors are often beyond a person’s control or understanding, and they tend to persist unless the needed input can be obtained in another way.

It is important to have appropriate treatment techniques to address sensory processing problems such that it will
• Provide therapeutic activities to facilitate child-directed treatment sessions.
• Balance structure and freedom to achieve a balance that leads to creative exploration.
• Control the environment while the child controls his own actions.
• Build self-confidence or an improved attitude about one’s self thus improve fairly relationship
• Provide out children process and organize all the stimulation obtained by their senses so they can work well together.
• Help the child develop skills needed in everyday tasks.
• Make them pay attention, focus and behave better to facilitate learning in school or at home

The Vestibular system has a role in body awareness, position in space, postural tone, coordination and equilibrium. It also plays a part in the stabilization of eyes in space during movement. As an example of vestibular movement, children enjoy a lot of rhythmic activities such as in rocking or bouncing and are continually seeking movement hence vestibular input. They need to move about as

a part of being ready and available for all activities.

Tactile processing is the ability to receive and discriminate pressure, vibration, movement, temperature, pain and touch primarily through skin receptors. The tactile system is part of somatosensory function assisting in proprioception which provides

awareness of position and movement via receptors in the joints, tendon and muscles.
Auditory processing is the ability to receive, identify, discriminate and communicate sounds as one hears and

perceives them while interacting in their environment.
Visual processing is the ability to receive, identify, and discriminate between visual input.
Oral motor processing is the ability to interpret and organize input in and throughout the mouth.

*Lifted from the seminar: “Understanding Sensory Integration” by Lady M. Suarez, OTRP;

“Basic Sensory Integration” by Katrina Jane Mondejar, OTRP.