Occupational therapy

What is sensory integration?

Sensory Integration is a normal life function and process where a person organizes sensation from one’s own body, and from the environment, and makes it possible to use the information so that they can function optimally in their world. It impacts on a baby and child’s ability to sleep, eat, digest and learn. Sensory Integration looks at the five senses we know about: hearing, taste, touch, smell and sight however more importantly we look at a child’s response to movement and their body awareness, as these areas impact their regulation and function.

Some babies and children are seen to be more ‘fussy’ or ‘difficult’ and it is often due to ineffective processing of their sensory systems which may make them more sensitive to input such as touch. Some children are seen to be ‘on the go’ and very active, and this may be due to them not receiving adequate sensory input from their body and their environment to function appropriately.

Sensory integration therapy assesses a child’s sensory responses and functional abilities and then best determines how to help the child with their needs such as sleep, feeding and learning. The sessions are fun and interactive with children learning about their bodies through movement and play. Much of the therapy is aimed at supporting the parents so that they can carry over strategies at home to make lasting changing which support their well-being.