What is Sensory Integration Therapy?

The ability to take in sensory information from one's body and from environment, to organize this information, and to use it to function. It occurs in brain in a well balanced, reciprocal process. Vision, Hearing, Touch and smell. However, there are several others "senses" that are very important for movement, play, behaviour and learning, attention. These include:


Vestibular

The vestibular system refers to structures of the inner ear that give the brain information about body position and movement. The vestibular sense is very important to one's sense of balance and gravitational security.

Children with vestibular dysfunction may be fearful of movement and thus avoid it, appearing clumsy and apprehensive to engage in movement activities that other children delight in. Conversely, other children have a hypo-reactive vestibular system and seem to crave excessive jumping, spinning, whirling, etc.


Proprioceptive

The proprioceptive system refers to information provided from the joints, muscles, and tendons to the brain that tells us where our body is in relation to other objects. Our proprioception gives us knowledge about our body position.

Children with proprioceptive problems may have difficulty knowing where their body is in space and may appear clumsy, falling into things, losing balance, knocking things over or appearing not to perceive personal boundaries. These children may do poorly with fine motor control necessary for writing, drawing, and manipulating small objects with their hands.


Tactile

includes nerve endings under the skin that send information to the brain. This includes information about light touch, pressure, vibration, pain and temperature. Tactile information plays an important role in our perception of the environment.

A tactile system that is dysfunctional may lead to a misperception of touch and/or pain and may lead to self-imposed isolation, irritability, distractibility, and hyperactivity.


Praxis

praxis is the ability to plan and execute skilled movement and is often called motor planning. The ability to organize and use sensory information is critical to efficient motor planning.


HOW THE TACTILE, PROPRIOCEPTION AND VESTIBULAR AFFECTS EVERY DAY SKILLS

These sense give us information that is necessary for many kinds of every day skills;

  • Motor planning
  • Visual perception
  • Academic learning
  • Social skills
  • Emotional security
  • Postural stability
  • Motor control and motor planning
  • Grading of movement
  • Body awareness
  • Gravitational security
  • Movement and balance
  • Musle tone
  • Bilateral co ordination
  • Auditory- Language processing
  • Visual- spatial processing

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