Sensory Integration (SI) is an intervention beneficial to children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Sensory Integration is mainly used by an Occupational Therapist (OT) but can also be implemented in Speech-Language Therapy, Early Intervention & Learning activities.
Sensory Integration can incorporate a variety of elements and approaches that are based on disciplines such as:-
- Multi-Sensory Therapy (MST) – designed to offer individuals with the opportunity to exercise choice through action. These safe, non-threatening environments bridge cognitive, perceptual, behavioural, and physical impairments, as well as other limiting conditions to provide a sense of empowerment. MST is an opportunity for the therapist and child to improve communication, enhance their understanding of each other, and build trust in their relationship.
- Multi-Sensory Environments – remove the distractions of the outside world and can stimulate the senses through touch, taste, sight, sound, smell, and movement. Of the many benefits, MSE can reduce sensitivity, enhance communication, decrease tension, lessen anxiety, increase focus and decrease negative behaviour. Moreover, these environments allow children to enjoy a wide range of sensory experiences, either passively or actively, that enhance therapy, learning and relaxation. The child can choose the experiences that gives the child the most pleasure. Participants interact freely with the different components to create positive environments, control the level of sensory stimuli, adapt responses to sensory stimulation, experience easier transition to task, and perform and behave in a more functional manner.
- Art Therapy– a psychotherapeutic service that encourages a child to express their feelings, enhances social skills, resolves frustrations, and fosters coping with difficulties in constructive ways. The art making process will further the emotional, cognitive, social and physical integration.
- Sensory Art – based on neuroscientific research, psychological theory and expressive art therapy, children need to learn through their senses and art is a great way of accomplishing this. Practicing sensory art focuses on the brain’s capacity to adapt and develop pathways by learning through stimulation of the senses. Sensory art activities have been shown to produce changes in the brain that reflect improvements in enhanced attention skills and cognition with participants often showing significant gains in emotional awareness, communication, coping, emotional awareness, creative thinking and sensory information processing. Sensory art activities are child directed, using a variety of different stimuli based on child’s personal challenges. Use of art supplies like paints, crayons, chalk, glue, glitter, sand, water, gooey materials, paper, cotton wool and various other textured items including shaving foam, toothpaste etc. They are used to: create art, introduce tactile sensations, normalize tactile experiences, express emotions and feelings, teach educational goals in a fun positive ways, reward and reinforce overall learning development though various techniques.
Our Sensory Gym “Fun Junction” and Multi-Sensory Snoezelen Room “Wonder World” are used by all therapists within a multi-disciplinary setting. An advantage of therapy at our multi-sensory “Snoezelen” room is that it does not rely on verbal communication and may be beneficial for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Please note that Sensory Integration is NOT a stand-alone services, but rather an APPROACH & TECHNIQUE incorporated by our therapists.