Sensory Processing, often also termed as Sensory Integration, is the way in which the brain interprets one or more sensory sources from our body and the environment. It is a neurological process that helps us to organise and adapt our responses to what is happening around us in order for us to use our body efficiently and effectively.
An impairment in sensory processing affects our ability to make sense of what is happening between ourselves and our environment. Sensory processing difficulties can exist in isolation, however, they are more commonly seen within other diagnosis.
Problems with Sensory Processing include:
– Difficulty with body awareness and planning movements
– Reduced balance and postural skills
– Difficulties with distinguishing touch
– Challenges with gross motor skills, such as riding a bike
– Challenges with fine motor skills, such as hand writing and using cutlery
Children with sensory processing challenges often find it difficult to regulate or modulate stimulation and so their response to sensory information might be either extremely heightened or extremely limited. Difficulties with modulation run alongside difficulties with motor skills and common characteristics include:
– Decreased attention and concentration
– Easily distracted
– Impulsive and frustrated
– Difficulties making transitions
The Physio Hub provides sensory processing assessment and treatment by an accredited, advanced therapist in Sensory Integration. A combination of both standardised and clinical assessments are used, alongside essential parental (and often school) liaison to enable a detailed identification of your child’s difficulties.
Treatment will be based on achievable and specifically identified goals that are important to you and your child but they will also be measurable goals to ensure progress development and appropriate review. Most importantly the goals will be incorporated into play activities that give the “just right challenge” in a fully equipped sensory integration room. The activities and environment will be analysed and set up to help your child to explore and move with confidence to improve balance and coordination and to assist with regulating alertness to improve concentration and attention. A sensory diet and sensory motor programme will be developed for home and school and will include staff teaching, monitoring and review.
The overall aim of sensory integration treatment will be to improve your child’s ability to attend, participate, learn and increase independence in functional activities.