What is Sensory Integration Dysfunction?



Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) is evidenced when a patient has difficulty synchronizing and processing sensory input. Children and adults with SID have difficulty processing sensations from the environment and/or from their own bodies. This results in “sensory seeking” or “sensory avoiding” behaviors, as well as motor-planning/coordination problems and impulsivity. At our clinic, we believe that by training the nervous system to encourage the integration and temporal processing of sensory input the patient will be able to filter out extraneous stimuli and focus better on targeted learning activities. Better focus and attention leads to better learning across all domain areas (communication, cognition, fine/gross motor, self-care, etc.).

Behaviors Displayed by People with Sensory Dysfunction:

  • Impulsive and/or easily distracted; difficulty focusing on tasks, maintaining eye contact and remaining in an activity

  • Does not like certain clothing textures, tags on clothing; prefers no socks or shoes

  • Picky eaters: gets stuck on one certain food; refuses certain tastes, textures and/or temperatures

  • Oversensitivity to smells or undersensitivity (may sniff people, objects, food).

  • Oversensitivity to sounds- will frequently cover ears.

  • High tolerance to pain.

  • Unusually high activity level.

  • Resists new situations.

  • Problems with muscle tone, coordination, motor planning.

  • Walks on toes to avoid sensory input from the bottom of the feet or due to lack of feeling “grounded”.


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