What is sensory integration?

Sensory integration is the process whereby the brain interprets information taken in by the senses in order to make a meaningful response. Sensory experiences include sight, taste, touch, smell, sound, sense of body position, and the pull of gravity. Sensory integration is an activity that is automatically performed by the brain. For some this process is inefficient and causes difficulty in performing everyday activities.

Who has problems with sensory integration?

Problems with sensory integration are found in individuals throughout the lifespan, in all intellectual levels and throughout all socioeconomic groups. Examples of individuals who may have difficulties with sensory integration may include premature birth, autism and autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and stress related disorders. According to independent research studies approximately 70% of individuals in schools with a learning disability has difficulties with sensory integration.

What are some signs and symptoms of sensory processing disorders?

Some signs and symptoms of sensory processing disorders may include:

  • Decreased attention to task
  • Easily distracted
  • Always on the move – unable to sit still
  • Picky eater
  • Behavioral concerns such as aggression or impulsiveness
  • Low tone, slouched posture while seated
  • Dislikes grooming activities including brushing teeth, brushing hair, getting hair cut, etc...
  • Spinning, spurts of running, thrill seeking behaviors
  • Social and/or emotional difficulties
  • Difficulty making transitions
  • Delays in speech, language, or motor coordination
  • Inability to calm self
  • Clumsiness
  • Activity level that is unusually high or low
  • Mouths, licks, chews non food items
  • Difficulty making eye contact
  • Difficulty following multi-step directions
  • Has a need for routine or sameness
  • Poor handwriting or awkward pencil grasp

Is a sensory processing disorder (SPD) different from dysfunction in sensory integration?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Dysfunction in Sensory Integration are the same. Sensory Processing Disorder is more commonly used in the research community while Sensory Integration Dysfunction is used more by clinicians.

What causes SI problems?

Research has not given us one answer for this question. SI problems appear to be due to a number of causes including genetics, prematurity, exposure to toxins, etc.

Can SPD be cured?

SPD cannot be cured, but sensory integration therapy with an occupational therapist can assist an individual in decreasing the affects of this disorder. Through a sensory integration approach, nervous systems can be changed thereby helping that individual better process sensory information.

Will SI problems go away as my child grows up?

No. SI problems have not been shown to go away as a child grows up. Adults have more choice in daily routines and activities which may allow for them to adjust for some of their SI difficulties thereby minimizing the appearance of dysfunction. Adults can receive sensory integration therapy and have reported an improvement in their symptoms.

What steps can be taken if my child has sensory processing disorders?

If you suspect that your child has a sensory processing disorder, contact our office and our director will discuss your concerns with you. If we believe that your child may benefit from therapy an evaluation should be completed. You should obtain a prescription from your child's physician for an occupational therapy evaluation. Then you will need to set up an appointment for your child's initial evaluation, which will last approximately one hour. Your therapist will ask questions regarding your child's medical history and previous experience with therapy programs. The therapist will evaluate your child's skill level in a non-threatening manner. The therapist will then provide recommendations regarding the frequency of future visits and suggestions for other home activities. Your therapist will discuss concerns and goals with you in order to set up an individualized treatment plan. The plan is then sent to the child's primary physician for authorization. Once the plan is signed and returned to the therapist, then regular therapy sessions may begin. Your therapist will contact you to setup dates and times for your child's therapy sessions. You will receive your formal evaluation results on the day of your first therapy session.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is a profession devoted to helping individuals function optimally in their daily occupations or activities. The occupations of children include play, self-help skills, learning and social interactions. When working with children, Occupational Therapy facilitates the development of age-appropriate sensory and motor functions to promote a child's ability to play, learn and interact in their environment.

What is a sensory diet?

A sensory diet is a list of activities that can be performed on either a daily or weekly basis. These activities are scheduled into routines to assist the individual to obtain an optimal state of arousal to aid that individual in learning and developing functional skills. A sensory diet also assists the individual in developing body awareness. A sensory diet is developed by an occupational therapist, but can be carried out by family, educators, or the individuals themselves.

What is the Interactive Metronome?

The Interactive Metronome (IM) is a brain-based assessment & treatment program developed to directly improve the processing abilities that affect motor planning and sequencing. IM promotes and enhances brain performance and recovery. This is accomplished by using innovative neurosensory and neuromotor exercises developed to improve the brain's inherent ability to repair or remodel itself through a process called neuroplasticity.

Who can use the Interactive Metronome?

Individuals with Sensory Integration Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Non-verbal Learning Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), Balance Disorders, Limb Amputation, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to name a few have been shown to make vast improvements when utilizing the IM in addition to traditional therapeutic interventions.

How can the Interactive Metronome help my child?

The IM has been shown to improve Attention & Concentration, Motor Planning & Sequencing, Language Processing, Behavior (Aggression & Impulsivity), Balance and Gait, Endurance, Strength, Motor Skills and Coordination.

Where can I find additional information on the Interactive Metronome?

Additional information on the IM can be found at www.interactivemetronome.com. Here you can find case studies and clinical research.

What is Therapeutic Listening?

Therapeutic listening is an evidence-backed protocol that combines a sound-based intervention with sensory integrative activities to create a comprehensive program that is effective for diverse populations with sensory challenges. Therapeutic Listening can impact sensory modulation, attention, behavior, postural organization, and speech and language difficulties.

How can Therapeutic Listening Help my child?

Therapeutic Listening coupled with sensory integration has also been shown to increase attention, organized behavior, self regulation, postural control, bilateral coordination, praxis, fine motor control, oral motor/ articulation, social skills, communication, and visual motor integration.

Where can I find additional information on Therapeutic Listening?

For additional information you can go to the website www.vitallinks.net to view a more comprehensive explanation of therapeutic listening. There is also research and case studies available.

Will my insurance pay for the services that you offer?

At this time The Center for TLC accepts most insurances. The reimbursement for services varies from provider to provider. For the most accurate information on your insurance benefits please contact your insurance company. Feel free to contact us if you would like assistance in determining what your benefits are.