What is Sensory Integration Therapy?
Sensory Integration Therapy is a specialty area of practice within the field of occupational therapy. It involves the use of special equipment and sensory-rich activities to help a child improve his/her ability to take in, make sense of, and respond appropriately to input. At a clinic that uses the sensory integrative treatment approach, you will see equipment that provides vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile stimulation. Some examples are:
What Does Sensory Integration Therapy Look Like?
To the untrained eye, Sensory Integration therapy tends to look like play. But don’t be fooled! There is an important reason behind the selection of equipment made by the therapist or the child, the sequence in which tasks are set up and performed, and the level of challenge required. The goal of Sensory Integration therapy is to be “child directed” or “child centered”. Whenever possible, the therapist includes activities that are motivating and interesting to the child so that he/she will want to engage. Also, the challenge of a therapy task is gradually decreased or increased depending on the child’s response, ability level, or rate of success. This way, the child thinks it is all play!
The slideshow below, of a talk given by Skills on the Hill Director, Kristen Masci, gives a good idea of what a child centered Sensory Integration Therapy session looks like.