What it is?
The term “sensory integration” was first coined by the American psychologist Jean Ayres in 1963 to describe how sensory processing disorders can translate into various behavioral problems.
How it works?
Sensations are our nervous system’s way of getting information about what’s happening to our body and environment. The brain organizes and processes this information so that we can properly respond to it. This process is called sensory integration. We need a well-functioning process of sensory integration for development, learning, daily activities and communication with other people. This process is not realized by us and in most cases proceeds without failures, therefore we learn about it only in case of violations.
Violation of sensory integration is associated with difficulties in processing information from any of the sensory systems: tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive, visual and auditory.
How does it help?
Based on the observation of the child, interviewing parents and testing, the specialist determines the nature of the difficulties and prescribes a strategy for therapeutic intervention. Sensory Integration Therapy is not a drug therapy, but a corrective work that is like a game. However, classes with a therapist are not the only tool of influence. The specialist develops a program that affects the lifestyle of the child, because the process of sensory integration is ongoing. Therefore, constant support of the child in this process is also needed. Depending on the severity of the disorder, the program may be short-term or long-term.
Depending on the diagnosed difficulties and the tasks set, the therapist will play with the child: climb the climbing wall, play ball, pass the obstacle course, explore the world with the help of tactile sensations, coordinate movements of varying complexity. At the same time, the game will definitely be a pleasure for the child, since the use of “internal drive” is an important conceptual basis of the approach. At the same time, the child should not experience pain, fear or other severe discomfort, although there will certainly be some “challenge” in the tasks that will push the child to change. The duration of one lesson is up to 45 minutes.