SENSORY INTEGRATION STRATEGIES
Why can't Johnny sit still? Why does Jane spit out her food? Why is Jack so rough? Why does John grind his teeth? Why does Jane Hit? It's called Sensory Integration or Sensory Processing. Although everyone processes sensory information, we interpret sensory information differently from one another.
If the child has Autism, Dyslexia, Down syndrome, Sensory Integration can be multiplied and getting treatment is a must!
Many people with autism are also hypersensitive or under-sensitive to light, noise, and touch. They may be unable to stand the sound of a dishwasher, or, on the other extreme, need to flap and even injure themselves to be fully aware of their bodies. These sensory differences are sometimes called "sensory processing disorder" or "sensory processing dysfunction," and they may be treatable with sensory integration therapy.
Sensory integration therapy is essentially a form of occupational therapy, and it is generally offered by specially trained occupational therapists as in this DVD. It involves specific sensory activities (swinging, bouncing, brushing, and more) that are intended to help the patient regulate his or her sensory response. The outcome of these activities may be better focus, improved behavior, and even lowered anxiety.
Many well-meaning occupational therapists have learned just a little about sensory integration therapy, and may be doing a poor job of implementing the approach. This DVD show the correct ways, from a well trained occupational therapists.
Someone dragging their fingers across a chalkboard or certain food textures may bother one person, but not another. When the way a person interprets or processes information from their senses interferes with learning and daily routines, it is considered Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Independent studies show that Sensory Integration Dysfunction can be found in up to 70% of children who are considered learning disabled by schools. But most go undiagnosed.
If you're coping with autism, dyslexia or down syndrome you've probably heard the terms sensory integration or sensory processing disorder. That's because many people have difficulty managing their sensory input. They may over- or under-react to visual, tactile, and aural input - sometimes to the point where they are unable to participate in typical life activities. Even people with Asperser Syndrome, who are capable in many settings, may be unable to go to movies, sit through concerts, or otherwise take part in social activities because the sound, lights or sensations are too overwhelming.
When this is the case, many practitioners will make a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder, and will recommend Sensory Integration Therapy. Sensory Integration Therapy is generally provided by an Occupational Therapist.
In this well developed DVD you will learn: 1. What Sensory Integration is 2. How to spot it. 3. When and how it can interfere with learning 4. What you can do at home and school to help the child 5. General tips and ACTIVITIES that work to over come it, SENSORY INTEGRATION THERAPY!
This well developed program can help parents; educators and caregivers provide an enriched environment that will foster healthy growth and maturation. The DVD was co-developed by an occupational therapist, Lisa Berry, OTR/L, and a parent, , who has a child with special needs. It's a must watch for parents, teachers and everyone working with children who have special needs
Speaker - Lisa Berry
Lisa graduated from Rockhurst University with a B.A. in psychology in 1995 and in 1997 with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. During her first two years of practice Lisa spent time in both Arizona and Pennsylvania as a traveling therapist working in a variety of facilities ranging from geriatrics to pediatrics. After returning to Kansas City in 1999, Lisa gained employment with the Gardner School district where she remained a staff pediatric therapist for 5 years. Simultaneously, Lisa worked for Infant-Toddler Services of Johnson County, serving children 0-3 and their families. Lisa is currently employed with Blue Valley School District in the Kansas City area as an early childhood occupational therapist.
Lisa is highly interested in sensory integration and facilitates sensory-based therapy for most of her clients. Lisa has presented many in-services on sensory integration and how to integrate sensory based techniques into the classroom and school environment. Lisa has had two articles published in OT Practice Magazine: Promoting Occupational Therapy in the School System (January 22, 2001) and Worlds Apart: Fine Motor Skills in Children in the U.S. and in a Developing Country (March 20, 2006).
Lisa is also a yoga instructor and incorporates the yoga philosophy in her occupational therapy practice. website
The theories behind sensory integration (SI) were first developed by an occupational therapist and researcher, Jean Ayres. In the U.S. and Canada, many OTs are at least familiar with the principles of SI, although technically to practice it one must have completed special training and attained a certificate from Sensory Integration International. SII will provide parents with a list of trained therapists and evaluators.
Adults with sensory-system dysfunction have often devised all sorts of ways to reduce their exposure to difficult or painful sensations, although this avoidance leads to increased isolation. We know of adults with PDDs who have installed expensive sound-proofing in their homes, who only buy soft cotton clothing, and whose "picky" eating habits have more to do with avoiding unpleasant textures than with taste. These coping strategies are admirable, but anyone who truly wants to break out of old life patterns without experiencing the discomfort of the past can look to SI techniques for help.
Sensory integration work is based on the idea that people with motor or sensory problems have difficulty processing the information their body receives through the various senses. Just as Auditory Integration Training attempts to desensitize the sense of hearing, SI exercises are intended to reduce sensory disturbances related to touch, movement, and gravity. These disturbances can occur in any or all of the following areas:
- Processing: how quickly (or if) the sensation reaches the central nervous system to be interpreted.
- Analysis: how the person interprets the sensation.
- Organization: how the person responds to their analysis of the sensation.
- Memory: how (or if) the person remembers similar sensations and proper responses from the past.
Disturbances can occur in either the traditional five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) or in less well-known senses--senses that actually have a greater effect on gross-motor development. SI exercises generally work on the latter. These "whole body" senses are:
- Tactile: based in the system created by the entire skin surface and the nerves that serve it, this sense processes information taken in via all types of touch.
- Proprioceptive: based in the muscles, ligaments, joints, and the nerves that serve them, this sense information about where the body and its various parts are in space.
- Vestibular: based mostly in the inner ear, which acts as a sort of internal carpenter's level, this sense processes information about how the body interacts with gravity as it moves and attempts to retain its balance.
Most of us never think about these senses, unless they are suddenly disordered in some way, such as from an inner-ear infection, a dizziness-producing carnival ride, or a leg that "asleep" and causes stumbling. For many people with PDDs, however, dysfunction in these sensory systems is the norm—in fact, for many it this very sensory dysfunction that is the most pervasive part of the disorder, and that may lead to its most disabling effects. Many behaviors commonly thought of as "autistic," including toe walking, hand-flapping, and rocking, can be attempts to deal with sensory integration dysfunction. Infants and young children learn to interpret the world around them through their senses. If the information comes in all wrong or cannot be processed properly, the world is a confusing place. Imagine trying to pay attention to your mother's lullaby if it sounded like an electric drill, or trying to play with a toy when your clothing was causing intense discomfort. The tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular senses are our most elemental ways to relate to the environment--they're with us from the earliest nervous-system development in the womb. Problems in this area are fundamental, because they interfere with the ability to learn the basic skills that are the building blocks for all others. SI activities are usually quite simple. Special equipment is not a must, although some parents have used swings, hammocks, and small items that can be obtained.