Sensory integration is the effective registration and interpretation of sensory input from within the environment and from within one’s body. Sensory processing is the way the brain receives, organises, and responds to sensory input allowing us to make sense of the world both from inside and outside the body enabling individual’s to functionally perform to the best of their ability.

The three components that make up sensory integration dysfunction include:

  • Sensory modulation disorder
  • Sensory-based motor disorder
  • Sensory discrimination disorder

The building blocks to developing efficient sensory processing include:

  • Touch processing
  • Proprioception
  • Vestibular sense
  • Visual processing
  • Auditory processing
  • Oral sensory

An indication that your child is experiencing sensory processing difficulties may include:

  • Shows a heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or movement
  • Is under-reactive to certain sensations
  • Becomes distressed during self-care tasks, for example: nail cutting or brushing teeth
  • Appears lethargic or disinterested
  • Impulsive and inappropriate behaviour
  • Difficulty regulating their behavioural and emotional responses resulting in emotional outbursts
  • Poor attention and concentration levels
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor motor skills including balance, coordination, and motor planning skills
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Restricted eating habits or are a fussy eater
  • Seeks out or avoids movement based activities appearing overly active
  • Seeks intense pressure on their head or body

Seirrah OT can help babies, toddlers, children, and adolescents to develop their sensory processing skills by first carrying out an assessment to identify the specific sensory deficits that the individual may be experiencing. Part of the assessment may include observations, administering standardised assessment tools, taking a history profile from parents, and completing school questionnaires.

Following assessment, the Occupational Therapist will work with you and your child to establish treatment goals, and create an individualised programme to help develop sensory regulation and sensory processing. The Occupational Therapist will ensure various approaches to intervention are explored to enable them to work with the individual and their individual needs as well as providing advice and ongoing support.

Some of the activities, approaches and strategies that we may use include:

  • Giving advance notice of change
  • Desensitisation
  • Social stories
  • Visual cues
  • Visual schedule
  • Timer
  • Extra time and support for transitioning
  • Educational and environmental support
  • Advise on equipment such as weighted items or oral sensory toys
  • Sensory diet
  • Sensory circuits
  • Physical activities such as obstacle courses or trampolining
  • Discrete trials that have a defined start and end point, such as puzzles or dot to dot
  • Narrow focused tasks such as sorting, organising or categorising activities

If you feel that your child has sensory processing difficulties, please contact our team for more information on how Seirrah OT can support, either by email: or call: 02920 023314

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Walnut Tree Farm Park,
St.Brides, NP10 8SQ

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