Sensory Integration Therapy
— A Cognitive Approach
Sensory Integration Therapy — The Mainstream Methodology
Sensory Integration Therapy is the mainstream clinical approach to treatingSensory Integration Disorder. This type of therapy is usually performed by an occupational therapist or physical therapist who takes “patients” through a series of sensory and motor skill exercises. With children, Sensory Integration Therapy usually looks like “play time” — a collection of “games” that help children better collect and process sensory information.
In a nutshell, sensory integration is the ability to capture information through the senses and meaningfully process that data in the mind. Some children need sensory integration therapy because they have a dysfunctional sensory integration system, where one or more of the senses overreact or under react to environmental stimuli. Standard therapy usually focuses on the following areas: (i) tactile (sense of touch), (ii) vestibular (sense of movement), and (iii) proprioceptive (sense of body position). The typical goal of sensory integration therapy is to help the child re-organize or re-process sensory information in order to have a more accurate response to external stimuli.
Sensory Integration Therapy — The Research Focus
Sensory Integration Therapy is important for some children who need broad re-training of general motor skills. This type of therapy takes the form of gymnastics, movement education, and adaptive physical education. The child is led through a series of exercises that help him or her respond accurately and appropriately to sensory data.
Typically, Sensory Integration Therapy does not focus on training specific cognitive skills. However, significant research now reveals that the majority of sensory integration disorders are caused by cognitive weakness. Therefore, although traditional therapy exercises may be helpful for general motor skills re-training, any long-term treatment for sensory integration dysfunctions must include targeted, integrative cognitive skills assessment and training.
Sensory Integration Therapy — Strengthening Cognitive Skills
At LearningRx, we understand the limits of traditional Sensory Integration Therapy. We’ve spent nearly two decades running clinical research and training programs to develop customized systems that build attention skills, auditory processing, visual processing, memory skills, processing speed, logic, reasoning, and comprehension. These are the necessary mental skills required to tackle Sensory Integration Disorder in many of the cases. We recognize how important strong sensory integration and cognitive skills are to reading, spelling, and other learning abilities. No matter how much generalized therapy, without good cognitive skills, students will continually labor with educational achievement. If your child struggles with symptoms related to Sensory Integration Disorder, weak cognitive skills may be at the root of the problems. For immediate assessment and long-term solutions, please contact your local LearningRx Center today.