Sensory integration refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Sensory integration is the foundation for learning and behavior. "Typically" developing children explore their environment, through movement and play, and spontaneously process sensory information and respond to challenges in the environment. When the signals don't get organized into appropriate responses we see breakdown in learning, behavior, and daily activities. It's like a traffic jam in the brain, which creates challenges performing everyday tasks. A child may over respond to sensation (touch, the feeling of their clothes, being bumped, having a haircut, unexpected noise, scents, bright lights)in a fight, flight or fright state; or a child may seek more intense sensations making it difficult to sit still, pay attention, everyday activities may seem boring or mundane to seeker.
The idea of a sensory integration clinic is not a new concept. A.Jean Ayers developed and tested this theory and it is used around the world in child development centers and occupational therapy clinics.
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