As your infant begins their amazing introduction into the world, the central nervous system is continuously advancing and improving. Neurological synapses are firing on all cylinders of the brain as your infant begins to walk, talk, and learn to interact with the people around them. As the nervous system begins to receive and process information, this process is called sensory integration. However, in rare cases, sensory integration can be hindered, and your child’s development can be impacted.
What is Sensory Integration Disorder?
Sensory Integration Dysfunction, better known as Sensory Integration Disorder, affects a child’s brain through the inability to synthesize multisensory information. This means that your child responds differently to external stimuli.
Sensory Integration disorder includes:
- Hypersensitivity – Over responsiveness to stimuli
- Hyposensitivity – Under responsiveness to stimuli
Both of these categories can affect your child in different ways. Hypersensitivity can invoke fearful responses to sounds, taste, and touch. The adverse effect is true for Hyposensitivity. In this instance, a child may be overly confident, energetic, and fearless to the environment surrounding them.
Parents of children with behavioral disorders often experience problems with sensory processing. While this is very common for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, if a child is not on the spectrum and is experiencing varying degrees of issues it’s something that needs to be examined more closely.
Signs of Hypersensitivity.
- Fear induced responses to loud noises.
- Often distracted.
- Fear of surprises.
- Fearful of crowds or large social gatherings.
Signs of Hyposensitivity.
- Uncoordinated or brash motor functions.
- Pain tolerance.
- Highly active.
- Difficulty sitting still.
- Constant need to touch textures or people.
A good approach to helping your child manage sensory integration disorder is to seek out an Occupational Therapy Program that can help your child manage what they are going through.
Through a series of tests, an evaluation is completed for the child. Exposure therapy and specialized equipment can help manage the disorder, while diet and nutrition can also play a vital role.
Speak with an OT professional today to discuss treatment options.