Sensory integration disorder (also called sensory integration dysfunction) is a neurological disorder that results from the brain's inability to integrate certain information received from the body's five basic sensory systems. Touch, taste, sight, smell, sound, and the pull of gravity are all examples of the body’s ability to integrate sensory experiences. Distinguishing between these experiences is the process of sensory integration. This process occurs automatically and effortlessly for most individuals. When this process is inefficient, extensive effort and attention are required for sensory integration to occur with no guarantee that it will be accomplished. The process of sensory integration is lifelong, with the majority of sensory integration occurring before the early adolescent years.
Occupational therapy is a key element in addressing the needs of children with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). Through sensory integration therapy, our occupational therapists provide the sensory experiences and sensory input that is so vital for children’s growth, learning, and development. Sensory integration therapy involves a planned activity program designed and implemented by an occupational therapist and designed specifically to meet the needs of each individual child’s nervous system. These individualized programs stimulate the senses with a combination of calming, alerting, and organizing techniques. By tailoring our therapy to each child’s motivations we encourage them to be active participants in the therapy process and are able to explore activities that are most beneficial to them. Through this process, children become more efficient and adept at organizing sensory information.