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What is Sensory and Motor Integration?


What is sensory integration?

Sensory integration refers to the process of receiving information through our senses, and organising this information. Sensory motor integration is the relationship between these sensory skills and the motor system. Both the sensory and motor systems are integrated, with the systems communicating and coordinating with each other. This works to allow individuals to be able to take in sensory information and interpret it to make a relevant motor action.

These skills are extremely important to a child’s learning. As newborns, babies are able to use some of their senses, but aren’t able to organize them well. For example, they struggle with balance and are unable to judge distances. During development, children get to grips with processing all of this sensory information, and are able to direct their attention to individual sensations, and ignore other incoming sensations. With this development, a child learns to organize these senses within the brain, due to increased experience of using the senses. With this, their clumsy motor skills become more accurate and smooth.

However, for some children, this integration does not develop properly and they face sensory challenges. For these individuals, they either cannot organize sensory signals or simply cannot detect them. In turn, this can lead to motor clumsiness and other behavioral problems.

Sensory Integration Therapy

For children who have sensory problems, sensory integration therapy can help sufferers to better organize sensory input. This is done through exposing children to a range of sensory stimuli, steadily increasing the complexity of challenges. This type of therapy helps children to form long-lasting behavioral patterns whilst facilitating normal development, helping individuals to develop the skills that non-sufferers develop naturally. If un-treated, sensory problems can become very overwhelming and cause sufferers to become withdrawn and unable to concentrate or participate in everyday activities.

Sensory Rooms

As well as regular sensory integration therapy, there are also many benefits of multisensory rooms. These rooms are built for individuals with sensory processing issues, and are an environment that stimulates a whole range of senses. For children with sensory and motor integration problems, normal learning and play can be extremely difficult and unnerving. Because of this, a sensory room is specifically built for special needs, to allow sufferers to feel comfortable and engaged. There are a range of sensory products that can go into a sensory room. These include mirrors, interactive toys, bubble walls and tubes, and projectors. These products can range from stimulating and interactive, to soothing and calming, depending on the nature of the sensory and motor issues that the child suffers from.

Being in this environment can be extremely beneficial for children in improving both their sensory and motor integration. It enhances normal learning and play, improves balance, special orientation and general movement, improves behavioral problems, and helps to develop gross and fine motor skills.  It also helps children to concentrate, improves alertness, and also improves both gross and fine motor skills. These rooms can be a sensory bedroom, sensory bathroom, a multisensory interactive learning environment, a sensory soft play room, or even a sensory pool. It all depends on the needs of the child, and all of these allow individuals to improve their sensory and motor integration in an enjoyable and motivating way.

It has been reported that 1 in 20 children’s lives are affected by sensory issues. It is crucial that these are treated as soon as possible during development; if left untreated, these problems will carry on into adulthood and become extremely debilitating to aspects of a sufferer’s life. As explained, children can be treated in such an enjoyable and motivating way in order to develop sensory and motor skills that allow them to reach their fullest potential.

Here at Experia USA, we have extensive experience in sensory solutions. Contact us today to find the best sensory solution for you.

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