Sensory Integration

To learn more about our Sensory Integration program, please choose one of the topics by clicking on their link in the table below and you will be brought to it. To return to the menu, simply click 'Back to Top.'

 

What is Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration & ADHD

Sensory Integration Book

SIPT Testing


What is Sensory Integration?

Sensory integration has become a common word to describe what is actually three things:

Sensory integration is a normal process that develops in all people. It is the ability to take in sensory information from our environment and our own bodies, organize that information in the nervous system, and use that information to interact in and learn from our environment.

Sensory integration dysfunction is the disorder that occurs when that normal process of sensory integration is inefficient. Many people with sensory integration dysfunction have difficulties in learning and behavior. Sensory integration dysfunction (DSI) can manifest in several different ways.

Sensory integration treatment is a treatment approach designed to use enhanced sensory intake to facilitate the normal process of sensory integration. Most therapists who are trained in providing sensory integration are occupational therapists but some are physical therapists and speech therapists. Sensory integration treatment is part of a therapist’s skills and there are no "sensory integration therapists" that are not previously trained and licensed in their respective disciplines.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD HAS SENSORY INTEGRATION DYSFUNCTION?
You can have your child evaluated by a therapist who is certified to administer and interpret the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT). Not all children are appropriate for this test due to age levels and developmental levels. A certified therapist has many other tools and assessments to use to assess sensory integration dysfunction in any individual. Island Therapies occupational therapists can do these evaluations.

WHEN DID SENSORY INTEGRATION THEORY DEVELOP?
Dr. A. Jean Ayres, OT, developed the theory and treatment for children with sensory integration dysfunction in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Many occupational therapists today have added to her information through research and treatment techniques and many more are trained to provide treatment.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT SENSORY INTEGRATION?
Island Therapies provides courses for parents, teachers, and therapists periodically. A small packet of information is available from Island Therapies for a nominal fee. Sensory Integration International is an organization dedicated to sensory integration. The website is: www.sensoryint.com. There are many other websites to find by entering sensory integration into your search engine.

There are several books about sensory integration that are helpful as well:

  • The Out of Sync Child & The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA

  • Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight by Sharon Heller, Ph.D

  • Sensory Integration and the Child by A. Jean Ayres

  • Including SI for Parents by Jeanne S. Ganz, which is available at Amazon.com, or you can obtain it by writing to:

         Occupational Therapy Strategies
         P.O. Box 12414
         Hauppauge, NY 11788

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Sensory Integration & ADHD

Can my child have ADHD/ADD and SI issues at the same time?
Yes. Many children with ADD or ADHD have difficulty modulating sensory information so that they may need more sensory input than is typical or they may be very sensitive to sensory input. They may also have poor praxis or poor motor planning that interferes with the ability to learn new motor tasks. These problems can influence attention but can occur in conjunction with ADD/ADHD.

How would SI problems affect my child who has ADHD?
Sensory integration dysfunction presents in several ways that influence attention.

First, sensory defensiveness is neurological tendency to react aversively to sensations that are typically not considered noxious. Individuals with sensory defensiveness tend to be distracted, irritated, or even hurt by the sensations of touch, light, sound, or even taste and smell. This makes it hard for them to focus, attend, and feel comfortable in the environment.

Other individuals may need more sensory input than is considered typical to keep their attention and focus. They may need to move or fidget or touch objects more than average.

Lastly, individuals who have motor planning challenges have to spend a great deal of "thinking" or cognitive energy to do a motor task. It is hard to maintain such a high level of concentration over "simple" motor tasks, and thus distractibility, fatigue, and poor persistence to task becomes apparent. Motor coordination and balance issues are also frequently seen in children with SI problems.

What can I do to help my child?
You can get an evaluation of sensory integration by a qualified therapist. They will be able to give you strategies to help, based on your individual child's needs. You can also become more educated about sensory integration by reading books, visiting websites, and talking to others.

How can I help my child in school?
There are many sensory strategies to use in school. The child himself can do some of these strategies, and others need the cooperation of the teacher or school staff. Some strategies may be done at home with parents before and after school. Strategies can be as simple as wearing specific clothing items or using a certain type of pencil or as complicated as putting activities into his classroom day. A program of specifically selected activities for home and school is usually advisable and can be provided by your child's therapist.

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Sensory Integration Book

Including SI for Parents: Strategies at Home and School by Jeanne S. Ganz, OTR/L, BCP

This book was written to present strategies for parents that will help their children who have sensory integration dysfunction face everyday challenges. It provides ideas to handle such events as tolerating haircuts, baths, dentist visits, homework, handwriting, and parties. It also provides an overview of sensory integration, sensory-motor integration activity ideas, and a framework for analyzing each individual setting and child. The cost for the 202-page paperback book is $15.95.

This book is now available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

OR

Send check or money order for $18.00 made out to:

Occupational Therapy Strategies
P.O. Box 12414
Hauppauge, NY 11788

This is a discounted fee of $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling.


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SIPT Testing

The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests were designed to assess several different practic abilities, various aspects of the sensory processing status of the vestibular, proprioceptive, kinesthetic, visual, and tactile systems, and the major behavioral manifestations of deficits in the integration of sensory inputs from these systems. Results of testing can be related to school and home performance.

It was designed for use with children from 4 years of age to 8 years, 11 months. Children must be able to follow verbal directions to take the test successfully.

The testing takes several hours to complete and results, with a full written report, are usually available in approximately 3 weeks. Consult time with parents by telephone is also part of the evaluation process.

Home programs and school recommendation programs are also available based on results of testing. An additional fee is charged for the development and written summary of these programs:
The Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT)

To schedule an appointment, please contact Louise Gulitti, office manager at Island Therapies. You will also be contacted by the therapist administering the evaluation once arrangements have been made for testing.

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