Sensory Integration Therapy
- 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 (SI) therapy should be provided by a specially trained occupational therapists (OT). The OT determines through a thorough evaluation whether your child would benefit from SI therapy. In traditional SI therapy, the OT exposes a child to sensory stimulation through repetitive activities.
- The OT gradually makes activities more challenging and complex. The idea is that through repetition, your child’s nervous system will respond in a more “organized” way to sensations and movement.
- 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 .
- sensory integration therapy improves daily function in children with autism and other disabilities.
- For example, a parent of a child who wakes during the night due to extreme sensitivity to sounds might set a goal of improving tolerance of ordinary noises and sleeping through the night. For a child who hates touching food, the goal might be to decrease touch sensitivity to the point that the child can comfortably eat a meal.