Sensory Integration (SI) and Occupational Therapy
What is Sensory Integration?
The theory of Sensory Integration comes from work developed by Dr A. Jean Ayres, PhD, OTR, an Occupational Therapist and Psychologist who worked in the United States of America. As an Occupational Therapist, Dr Ayres was interested in the way in which sensory processing and motor planning disorders interfere with activities of daily living and learning.
Sensory Integration (SI) is the neurological processes that organise sensation from one’s own body and from the environment to make it possible to use the body effectively within the environment (Ayres 1972). Sensory information is received through the integration of vestibular, tactile, auditory, proprioception and visual systems, as a direct result of interactions experienced through the environment. Sensory Integration Difficulties describe the difficulty some people's nervous systems have taking in, integrating and making use of sensory information. It is when the brain is unable to process the sensory information coming from the body or from the environment efficiently. It happens when the brain is not receiving inputs, or the inputs that are received are inconsistent, or the sensory information is consistent but does not integrate properly with the nervous system.
Sensory Integration Difficulties can be seen in isolation but are also frequently seen in combination with other diagnoses including:
Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD)
Learning Disabilities (LD)
Dyspraxia and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)
Regulatory and Mood Disorders
Specific Learning Difficulties (eg Dyslexia, Dyscalculia)
Looked after Children and Young People (LAC)
Post Traumatic event, illness or injury
Socrates Sensory Integration Assessment
We begin with an initial screening in response to individual, parental and/or professional concerns. An assessment tailored to the individual may include: a developmental history including prenatal and peri-natal factors, school observations, questionnaires for home, school or nursery and a Sensory Integration specific assessment, using clinical observations and if appropriate Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) at our well-resourced base.
Each intervention is tailored individually in a playful fun way by our Ayres Sensory Integration Therapist (ICEASI Level 2) with the active participation of the client. Our therapist will work with the child, adolescent or adult to build a therapeutic relationship based on trust.
In order to be able to complete the SIPT the child needs to be able to demonstrate an ability to participate in adult directed activities. However, we can still complete a sensory assessment even if the child cannot participate in the SIPT.
Following the assessment, we will provide a written report and sensory strategies to be used at home and school.
Our Sensory Integration room offers the client an intervention which has a sensory rich, playful, fun and supportive atmosphere.
When the sensory integration intervention is successful, the client is able to automatically process complex sensory information in a more effective manner than previously. The client may show better emotional adjustment, and improved personal-social skills. Some may show improvement in language or daily routine tasks.
Summary of our assessment process
Socrates Occupational Therapy services
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a science degree-based, health and social care profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. OT takes a "whole-person approach" to both mental and physical health and wellbeing and enables individuals to achieve their full potential.
OT enables people to participate in daily life to improve their health and wellbeing. Daily life is made up of many activities (or occupations). For children or young people this may include self-care (eating a meal, using the toilet), being productive (going to nursery, school or volunteering) and leisure (playing with friends or doing hobbies).
Our additional OT services will develop gross and fine motor skills in a functional, playful manner and functional skills such as dressing skills, cutlery, organisation.
Socrates offers a friendly and warm welcome from the moment you enter the building. We offer a comfortable waiting area along with a children's waiting area where they can play.
Assessments and therapy sessions are conducted in a fully equipped SI room which will help your child to develop their skills through fun and play based activities using sensory rich experiences from learning new skills on suspended equipment to relaxing / hiding in the sensory tent.
I am an experienced Occupational Therapist with Certification in Ayres' Sensory Integration (ICEASI Level 2) and ADOS 2 trained for assessment in Autism. I have a strong understanding of SI theory and its effectiveness which allows me to treat SI difficulties using specialised equipment and detailed assessments including the gold standard SIPT. I am the first person in the UK to obtain the Certificate in Ayres Sensory Integration (CASI) programme which offers the title of an ASI Practitioner (equivalent to The International Council for Education in Ayres Sensory Integration ICEASI Level 2).
Learn more from Our Team page.