Understanding Sensory Integration

In order to treat SPD, we must first thoroughly understand what sensory integration is. It really isn't as complicated as we think and I want to present it to you in ways you can understand - whether you are a parent or professional.

Making the confusing more simple...

Effective Sensory Integration / Sensory Processing is indeed the basic foundation that every child needs to develop appropriately in order to meet all learning, socializing, and developmental milestones.  Sensory Integration, in itself, is a normal neurological, maturational process within the central nervous system... this is NOT controversial!  It is a REAL and necessary foundation that must be laid.  This HAS been proven indeed.

Are you still confused about the terms... sensory integration and sensory processing, and their related disorders?  As discussed on the SPD home page, the term sensory integration is the term used most by A. Jean Ayres in her original works regarding this neurological processing and the disorder.  It is an accepted medical term and based on central nervous system processing.  In talking about the normal processes that happen in the brain, sensory integration is the term that refers to this.  It is the process that happens which is responsible for the neurons to work together and communicate effectively. 

When this process is disordered; whether based on input, organization (modulation and regulation), or output, it was described by A. Jean Ayres as sensory integration dysfunction (or disorder/dysfunction of sensory integration in later years).  Although the theoretical base will most likely always be based on and use these terms, the disorder itself is now called Sensory Processing Disorder.  It is the same thing, based on the same neurological processes, but clarified and renamed to make it more understandable to professionals, the medical community and insurance companies, as well as parents.

Although it may be a temporary state of confusion, the new term will take over.  Therapies will continue to be based on her theories and called sensory integration therapy or sensory integrative OT, but the individuals will be said to have Sensory Processing Disorders.  A. Jean Ayres legacy will continue regarding therapeutic interventions, using the terms she coined.

Here you will find information about sensory integration and sensory processing disorders, the various sensory systems, and the potential problems within these systems and processes. 

I want you to truly know and understand the basics of sensory integration / sensory processing; the way it happens, why it happens, what can go wrong, and how natural and important it is to any child's learning, developing, playing, and interacting.  If you understand the theories and neurological underpinnings, then you can best help yourself or your children who have been diagnosed with SPD.  It can seem overwhelming and complicated.

Understanding Sensory Integration And SPD:

What IS Sensory Integration?

The Origins Of Sensory Processing Disorders

Symptoms Of Sensory Integration Dysfunction (now called SPD)

SPD; How Does It Feel To Have It?

Is SPD A Real Diagnosis?

Proprioceptive Dysfunction

Tactile Defensiveness

Picky Eaters

Behavior Problems 

Infant/Toddler Stimulation

Oral Defensiveness

How SPD Affects Auditory And Visual Processing

Sensory Defensiveness

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