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Triangle Therapy address: 3602 Trail 23, Durham NC 27707, 919-489-7771, hours: M-F 7:30-5:30 pm

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CAST: Bobby Approved (v 3.2)

A boy practicing using coordinated movements of the handsSensory Integration

Sensory integration refers to the process by which the brain interprets and organizes various sensory experiences including sight, sound, smell, touch, movement, body awareness, and the pull of gravity. Sensory integration usually occurs automatically and provides a foundation for more complex learning and behavior. For some people sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When this happens, problems in learning, development and behavior may become evident.

A disruption in sensory processing can result in sensory defensiveness (sensory seeking or sensory avoiding behaviors), problems in self-regulation (activity levels too high or too low, not matched for the task at hand), and difficulties with praxis (the ability to conceive, organize and execute skills). This can interfere with self-care skills, language skills, motor skills, academic skills, and social/emotional skills.

a boy practices fine motor coordination by pouring sandIf a child is suspected of having a sensory integrative disorder, an evaluation is in order. If intervention is recommended, it can be intensive (more than once a week), weekly, or consultative (more infrequently relying on a home program between sessions).

Children who demonstrate several of these behaviors may be appropriate for evaluation:

  • Difficulty with gross or fine motor skills.
  • Clumsy, trips and falls easily.
  • Delayed sitting, crawling, or walking.
  • Poor balance.
  • Walks on toes with slightly unusual posture.
  • Over sensitivity to touch, sound, sights, movement, or smell.
  • Under reaction to touch, sound, sights, movement, or smell.
  • Unusually high or low activity level.
  • Unable to calm self.
  • Impulsive, lack of self-control.
  • Difficulty with social interactions.

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