Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration (SI) is an approach used by Occupational Therapists. It is informed by neuroscience, that is how the brain processes sensory information. This isn't just the 5 senses we all know about, it includes:

  • Proprioception - the sense of parts of the body when moving
  • Vision - all the input perceived by eyes including light/dark
  • Auditory - the sense of hearing
  • Tactile - not just touch but also the feeling of temperature and pain
  • Olfactory - sense of smell
  • Vestibular - balance
  • Interoception - feelings inside the body, like feeling full after a big meal
  • Taste

According to SI research, people with Sensory Processing disorder have difficulties with one or several of these sensory areas, such as being unable to cope with a normal level of noise (auditory), finding some clothes really itchy or uncomfortable (tactile) or refusing to go in a car because the movement makes them feel sick (proprioception). Sensory processing difficulties are often seen in children with Autism, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities.

A trained Occupational Therapist will complete a full assessment of your needs and preferences and look at what you find difficult as a result of the sensory processing difficulties. They will then use a range of materials to help you get used to new sensations.

For more information for parents and clinicians, have a look at our OT information leaflet.

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