Sensory – Integration, Help Things Make Better Sense

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory processing disorder or dysfunction is a neurological disorder that results from the brain’s inability to integrate information received from the body’s five basic sensory systems. These sensory systems are responsible for detecting sights, sounds, smell, tastes, temperatures, pain, and the position and movements of the body. The brain then forms a combined picture of this information in order for the body to make sense of its surroundings and react to them appropriately. The ongoing relationship between behavior and brain functioning is called sensory processing, a theory that was first pioneered by A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., OTR in the 1960s.

Integration of our senses is critical to living easily in today’s world. Human bodies have a natural rhythm that directs the body’s flow and functions. Eyes and ears work together to know when to cross a street; our taste buds usually warn us of food that does not agree with our stomachs. Our ears integrate sound in all our senses within the body system through bone and air conduction.

Those who have poor sensory integration are sensitive to sound and light or even being touched. Some have experienced ear infections, a traumatic injury or other traumatic experiences that may have impacted sensory integration.

When these faculties are impaired, the conscious and intellectual aspects of learning are inhibited. In a child with developmental delays, these faculties may be only partially developed.

Whether sensory integration is impaired or only partially developed, the outcome is the same. Common activities that depend upon well-organized brainstem functioning (for example: learning to ride a bike, throw a ball, read or interact with others) can seem unreasonably difficult.

Whatever the cause, it is possible to re-organize, develop or regain good sensory integration. The individualized programs and unique methodology of BrainAdvantage can help integrate your senses.

Ever Wonder Why Your Child Does The Things He/She Does?

  • Are they excessive risk takers – jumping and crashing into anything they can ?
  • Do they have trouble with puzzles – writing well – or finding the coordination for riding a bike or hitting a ball?
  • Do they cry or cover their ears with every loud sound – even vacuums, toilets or hairdryers ?
  • Do they not like being touched or can’t be touched enough?
  • Do they only eat things like macaroni and cheese and pizza?
  • Do they only wear certain clothes or need you to cut the tags out of their shirts?
  • Do they have trouble calming down or getting to sleep?
  • Do they resist putting their hands in anything messy like glue, Play Doh, or mud?
  • Do they fear playground equipment or being tipped upside down?
  • Do crowded stores bother them so much that they have major meltdowns in public places?

Knowing more about these “behaviors” and the reasons for this apparent “chaos”, will help explain how our methods really work to calm these issues down. Looking at articles and research on this site will allow you more information to understand why your child does the things he/she does. Sensory Processing Disorder – also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction – is still in the process of becoming widely accepted and treated by all professionals. Even though the theories have been around for almost four decades, much still needs to be done before the “word” has reached the millions affected by this neurological disorder. Now we can take this information and positively influence, understand, validate, “treat”, support, and help so many children who are behaviorally and emotionally “imprisoned” by their ineffective perception and interpretation of sensory input.

For more information see our Research Page