Sensory processing dysfunction or Sensory Integration is basically over and/or under-sensitivity to light, sound, smell, taste, or touch.
It has long been described as a one of the symptoms of autism. These sensory issues became a part of the diagnosis, usually described as “Hyper or hyporeactivity to sensory input and unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment. For example, apparent indifference to temperature, pain and unfavourable response to specific sounds or textures, excessive touching or smelling of objects, visual fascination with movement or lights.”
Children with autism and in addition to having challenges in other areas, are also under-sensitive or hypersensitive to noise, touch, light. They may be sometimes unable to stand with the sound of a dishwasher and on other extreme they even injure themselves to be fully aware of their bodies. These sensory differences sometimes called as “sensory processing dysfunction or disorder”. They may be treatable with this sensory integration therapy.
Sensory processing involves taking in information through senses of body such as smell, taste, touch, movement, hearing, vision and to organize and interpret that information and thus make a meaningful response. Children who have this Sensory Processing Disorder do not experience these kind of interactions in the same way. Sensory Processing Disorder affects the way the children brains interpret the information that comes in and how they respond with motor, emotional and some other reactions. Some children with autism feel as if they are being constantly pounded with sensory information.
Sensory integration therapy is an essentially a form of occupational therapy and in general, it is offered by specially trained occupational therapists in our Butterfly Therapy Center. They involve in specific sensory activities to help a child appropriately respond to touch, smells, sound, lights and other input.