Specialist Interventions


Sensory Integration 

‘Sensory Integration’ (S.I) refers to the coming together of all sensory processes in the brain in an integrated way in order to make sense of our world (J Ayres, 1960’s) ‘S.I’ treatment aims to strengthen, balance and develop the central nervous system’s processing of sensory stimuli by gentle exposure to controlled sensory input. S.I therapy is child-centred and works from the premise of what the child ‘needs’ and likes to do. Most children tend to seek out those sensory experiences that are most beneficial for their development. The child’s inner drive plays an important role in the selection of therapy activities. Activities and opportunities are created to gradually increase the demand on the child to make appropriate, organized and successful responses to sensory input.  This is known as ‘The Just Right Challenge’ 

Our ability to link sensory input to motor output forms the basis of posture control development.  S.I treatment therefore aims to improve:- 

• Postural reactions and motor control,  as well as

• Purposeful behaviour

• Social interactions

• Self direction

• Initiation

 

It can also be effective in increasing:- 

• Attention

• Vocalisations

• Eye contact

 

To achieve the best outcomes S.I should not be implemented in isolation – but in conjunction with parents and staff using other sensory processing strategies. Therefore, alternative and/or complementary intervention programmes to support a child’s functional performance, and that enable them to learn and access the school curriculum effectively (such as a ‘sensory diet’) should also be considered.

 

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