Middletown Township Sensory Motor Integration
Empowered Learning Transformation Centers
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Empowered Learning Transformation Centers based in New Jersey, is a specialty healthcare company focused on providing high quality, post-acute care in the most efficient and cost-effective setting.
For most children, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities. Motor planning ability is a natural outcome of the process, as in the ability to adapt to incoming sensations. But, for some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When the process is disordered, a number of problems in learning development or behavior may become evident.
Signs of Sensory Integration Dysfunction include:
Overly sensitive to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
Easily distracted awareness
Activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
Impulsive, lacking in self-control
Inability to unwind or calm self
Social and/or emotional problems
Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
Difficulty making transitions from one situation to another
Delays in speech, language, or motor skills
Delays in academic achievement
Slow reaction to touch, movements, sights, or sounds
What is Sensory Integration?
Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, and the pull of gravity. The process of the brain organizing and interpreting this information is called sensory integration. Sensory integration provides a crucial foundation for later, more complex learning and behavior.
For most children, sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities. Motor planning ability is a natural outcome of the process, as in the ability to adapt to incoming sensations. But, for some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When the process is disordered, a number of problems in learning, development, or behavior may become evident.
What Can Be Done?
If a child is suspected of having a sensory integration disorder, an evaluation can be conducted by a qualified occupational or physical therapist. Evaluation usually consists of both standardized testing and structured observations of responses to sensory stimulation, posture, balance, coordination, and eye movements. After carefully analyzing test results, assessment data, and information from other professionals and parents, the therapist will make recommendations regarding appropriate therapy.
If therapy is recommended, the child will be guided through activities that challenge his or her ability to respond appropriately to sensory input by making a successful, organized response.
Training of specific skills is not usually the focus of this kind of therapy. Adaptive physical education, movement education, and gymnastics are examples of services that typically focus on specific motor skills training. Such services are important, but they are not the same as therapy using a sensory integrative approach.
One important aspect of therapy that uses a sensory integrative approach is the motivation of the child, which plays a crucial role in the selection of the activities. Most children tend to seek activities that provide sensory experiences most beneficial to them at that point in development. It is this active involvement and exploration that enables the child to become a more mature, efficient organizer of sensory information.
Where to Learn More?
The most important step in promoting sensory integration in children is to recognize that it exists and that it plays an important role in the development of a child. By learning more about sensory integration, parents, educators, and caregivers can provide an enriched environment that will foster healthy growth and maturation.
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