Sensory Integration

Everyday we receive a great deal of information form our senses. We use this information to organize out behaviour and interact with our world. Our senses give us information about the physical status of our body and the environment around us.  Think of the senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Yet there are many other sensations that are just as essential to our survival. Our nervous system detects changes in movement and gravity. The sensory systems include: 1) balance and movement (vestibular sense) 2) muscle and joint sense (proprioreceptive sense).

When one or more of the senses is not being interpreted correctly e.g. when a child has vague or hazy feedback about his sense of touch, body position or movement and gravity he is in a world totally foreign from ours. Imagine yourself in a world where something as basic and reliable as the pull of gravity or another’s touch is perceived as something unreliable, inconsistent or threatening. This child does not feel secure. Disordered sensory integration results in a number of learning, motor and behavioural problems.

Through therapeutic activities in a specifically designed environment including suspended equipment the therapist allows the child to explore in such a manner so as to receive the appropriate amount of sensory input. The therapist is then able to develop the child’s neural organization, self confidence and better control over bodily movement.