Sensory integration what?? Who?? Well, we stepped our way from our pediatrician to a wonderful speech therapist (ST), to a wonderful occupational therapist (OT). And then we learned about this thing called Sensory Integration Dysfunction, or Sensory Integration Disorder, or Sensory Processing Disorder. It goes by many names. And what it means, in a nutshell, is that senses in the world are received by our bodies (touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing, and 2 more that most people don’t know about); and somewhere along the way the brain scrambles the messages so they are not processed correctly: they are not perceived correctly.
The book that first explained this all to me, has become my bible of SID. Raising a Sensory Smart Child.
Their website is: http://sensorysmarts.com/ .
Common Signs of Sensory Processing Problems
Out-of-proportion reactions to touch, sounds, sights, movement, tastes, or smells, including:
- Bothered by clothing fabrics, labels, tags, etc.
- Distressed by light touch or unexpected touch
- Dislikes getting messy
- Resists grooming activities
- Very sensitive to sounds (volume or frequency)
- Squints, blinks, or rubs eyes frequently
- Bothered by lights or patterns
- High activity level or very sedentary
- Unusually high or low pain threshold
Motor skill and body awareness difficulties, including:
- Fine motor delays (e.g., crayons, buttons/snaps, beading, scissors)
- Gross motor delays (e.g., walking, running, climbing stairs, catching a ball )
- Illegible handwriting
- Moves awkwardly or seems clumsy
- Low or high muscle tone
Oral motor and feeding problems, including:
- Oral hypersensitivity
- Frequent drooling or gagging
- “Picky eating”
- Speech and language delays