What is Sensory Integration?
We access the world through our seven senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch and the two related to movement (vestibular sense and proprioceptive sense).
The vestibular sense is a sophisticated sense in the inner ear that tells us when our bodies are displaced and helps us to orient to movement. The proprioceptive sense provides feedback from muscle movement and joint position, sometimes referred to as the "body sense".
The brain filters, organises and translates the messages from all the senses at any given moment in time. This massive amount of information helps us to focus on what is important while deciding what is unimportant. To behave appropriately and to react according to the demands in the environment, all sensory information sent to the brain needs to be processed and integrated effectively.
Problems with sensory processing and integration create problems in behaviour and in the reaction to demands in the environment. A person can find it difficult to pay attention and to sit still, can be sensitive to textures, can be a picky eater, can enjoy movement excessively or can avoid specific movement.
Poor sensory processing affects many aspects of a person's functioning negatively. Usually it has an emotional component as well and a person might feel insecure, has a poor self image and has issues with socializing and sleeping.
A Sensory Integrative program will address all aspects of sensory processing and work to re-align the integration of the mass of sensory information that is pased to the brain.