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For most people sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities. Sensory processing difficulties can occuer across the lifespan. They can been seen in isolation or more frquently in combination with other diagnosis. These include Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit, Learning Disabilities, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Regulatory Disorder.
But for some people, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. This is known as sensory processing disorder [SPD] or dysfunction in sensory integration [D.S.I.]. SPD can effect academic achievement, personal identity, activities of daily living, behaviour or social participation.
Sensory Integration is the neurological process that organizes sensation from ones own body and the environment. It enables everyday life. Sensory processing difficulties can influence self-regulation, movement, learning and interaction with others. (Allen and Smith 2011)
It can interfere with skills that support performance, such as engagement and attention, as well as skills that enable the learning of new motor skills (Cosby, 2010, Jasmin, 2009).
Sensory Integration Dysfunction or Sensory Processing Disorder are both ways to describe the difficulty some people's nervous systems have taking in, integrating and making use of sensory information. This changes how a person then responds to changes in their own body, the environment and how they interact with it and others around them.
Read more about specific topics in our monthly flyer emphaSIze which each month includes and focuses on a specific aspect of sensory processing.
Getting help is important is you suspect someone has sensory processing difficulties.
This will usually involve a referral for specialist assessment and therapy including support.
For help finding a therapist, please click here.
Miller’s proposed taxonomy of SPD identifies 3 main categories: