“Generally speaking, occupational therapy is the science that, through carefully selected and target-oriented activities aims at ameliorating the productive activities. Occupational therapy includes the following programs: teaching of everyday activities, development of perceptive and motor skills, development of play skills and recreational skills”.(American Occupational Therapy Association, 1981)
The Sensory Integration approach is one of the methods used in Occupational Therapy.
Sensory Integration is the brain’s ability to organize sensory information for efficient use (Ayres, 1972).
The method-therapy of Sensory Integration is widely known and considered very effective. It is achieved through activities/games that children enjoy (swings, roller skates, trampoline, balls, etc). The sensory information is sent within a well constructed, protected and properly equipped environment, the sensory information in order for the child to comprehend it and achieve integration. When Sensory Integration is dysfunctional, this deficiency affects the learning, motor, stress control, play and educational skills.
Sometimes, Sensory Integration is thought to be necessary and more efficient than other types of therapy. It can be applied from the first month of life and can also be applied in children with pervasive developmental disorders including autism, attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, developmental dyspraxia, special developmental and motor disorders, special learning disabilities, balance and orientation disorders, bilateral integration dysfunction etc.
The Sensory Integration approach achieves organization, focus, alertness, education abilities an specialization of the brain hemispheres and the sides of the body.
In some cases, in order to achieve better results, Sensory Integration may be used in combination with the Therapeutic Listening program, the P. Wilbarger protocol or/and the M.O.R.E. (Motor, Oral, Respiration, Eye) protocol.