What is Sensory Integration (SI) Therapy
Sensory Integration Therapy is designed to help a child with sensory processing difficulties better register, discriminate, process and integrate sensory information in order to perform an adaptive response to the environment.
Who Benefits from Sensory Integration Therapy?
Children with learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, poor coordination, sensory sensitivities, social difficulties, decreased emotional regulation, attachment disorder, attention difficulties, behavior concerns, to name a few....
What Does SI Therapy Look Like?
A therapist trained in sensory integration therapy is trained in neurosciences and can diagnosis how the sensory systems are working. The therapist provides the right amount and type of sensory input especially vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile input to challenge the nervous system. Since play is the occupation of a child, SI therapy often looks like play. However, the therapist and child are working hard to provide the “just right challenge” with the right amount and type of sensory input to generate an adaptive response.
SI therapy is child directed, as the child’s body knows what type of input it needs. A therapist trained in SI understands the signs that a child gives as to what type of input he or she needs. Therefore, SI therapy is individualized and should be performed in a one to one setting.
Can SI therapy be done in my home?
True SI therapy should be done in a clinic setting. Suspended equipment is an essential part of SI therapy and the therapist must have access to a variety of swings the move in a variety of directions. Further, as SI therapy is child centered, it is impossible for the therapist to bring every type of equipment a child might need to the home. Therefore, clinic based therapy is essential in order to provide the child with the proper input.
What outcomes can I expect from SI therapy?
Jean Ayres, founder of SI therapy, said it best,
“ Sensory Integration sorts, orders, and eventually puts all of the individual sensory inputs together into a WHOLE brain function. When the functions of the brain are whole and balanced body “movements are highly adaptive, learning is easy, and good behavior is a natural outcome.