Sensory processing/integration is the neurological process of organizing the sensation or information that we receive from our bodies and the environment in order to respond appropriately to environmental demands.
Efficient processing and integration of sensory information provides a critical foundation for facilitating daily living skills, social/emotional development, and higher-level learning. Key sensory systems include: visual, vestibular (movement), proprioceptive (body awareness), tactile (touch), and auditory (sound). Processing and interpretation of sensory input is always context dependent.
Typically, our brains receive sensory input from our body and surroundings, interpret these messages and in turn, generate organized responses. In a well organized system, these adaptive responses usually occur without conscious awareness. A sensory processing/integration dysfunction occurs when the brain is unable to efficiently interpret incoming information and organize the proper adaptive response.
At Beth Osten & Associates, occupational therapists are educated in assessing and providing interventions to address sensory challenges involving processing/integration.
The goal of treatment is to help children to more efficiently process and integrate sensory input. This allows for increased successful participation and engagement in a range of life activities including: play, socialization, self-regulation, gross and fine motor skills, and activities of daily living.
Other clinical service, methods, and programs we often use in conjunction with sensory integration/processing treatment.