I Need Help With SENSORY INTEGRATION...

Our senses give us the information that we need to function in the world. Our bodies have many senses and the ones that are most recognized are hearing, seeing, taste, smell, and touch. Senses that are less familiar are tactile (touch), vestibular (movement), and proprioception (body position). A synchronized sensory system is critical and directly related to a person’s attentiveness and state of arousal. Sensory dysfunction occurs when the process of receiving, organizing, and using sensory stimuli is disrupted.

Sensory integration dysfunction can be a primary diagnosis or it can be a manifestation of another diagnosis such as Autism or Down syndrome. Tests can be administered to determine if a person has sensory integration dysfunction. The assessment reveals which sensory system(s) is involved and treatment is recommended based on the findings.

For children with certain clinical diagnoses, adaptive equipment designed to help with Sensory Integration may be beneficial to help them achieve their goals. Always check with your child's therapists before using equipment to make sure that it is appropriate. Some of the clinical diagnoses that might include but are not limited to the following: Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Gross Motor Delay, Spina Bifida, Autism, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
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To illustrate this concept of sensory integration, here are two case studies to consider.

Case Study # 1: Vestibular Hypersensitivity – The Movement Sense- Joseph
Joseph is 2 years old and he dislikes most movement activities. He does not like riding on toys that move and he does not like to swing with the other children on the playground. He also does not like riding in the car but sitting still in the car is comforting. Joseph was assessed and diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction of the vestibular sense. Joseph’s brain cannot regulate movement sensations and he becomes anxious and upset when he moves too quickly.

Case Study # 2: Tactile Hyposensitivity- The Touch Sense- Abigail
Abigail is 3 years old and she is constantly touching objects and people. She plays roughly, banging into people and play structures. When Abigail falls or bumps her head, she does not seek comfort. Rather, she acts like the accident never happened and continues to play. Abigail was assessed and diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction of the tactile sense. Abigail’s brain is not properly registering how things feel in her environment.
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