When the brain interprets information received by the senses, the process is known as sensory integration. The senses include vision, sound, taste, smell. touch/body awareness, gravitational pull, and motor movement. Many children develop sensory integration when they indulge in childhood activities. But those with autism and other neurological disorders are not able to develop it. This sensory integration disorders can develop into behavioural and learning difficulties.
Sensory integration therapy for autism can initiate the process of sensory stimulations in children and adults with simple but effective normal activities. Over time, their brains adapt to process sensory stimulations more capably.
Sensory Integration Therapy For Autism
Treatment to improve the sensory issue is accomplished by the means of strategies with a set goal. For the therapy, the therapist selects sensory tools that are preferred for all age groups. These sensory products are effective for sensory processing for individuals with special needs. The equipment and accessories are tested for safety, durability, and fun! Various accessories and equipment involved in a sensory integration therapy for autism are categorized based on sensory needs.
Sound/ Hearing (Audio)
Your therapist may recommend auditory sensory products applicable for use at home and school. Some of the most widely used products include:
- Headphones/earplugs to deal with an excessive noise blast
- Drums of different sizes and boom whackers
Sense Of Smell (Olfactory)
Scents or aromas help us identify food and flowers and also stimulate our memory. Therapists include products that kindle the olfactory sense in children like:
- Scented pencils
- Scented markers
- Scented dough
Visual products can reduce the exertion on the eyes. They help individuals to stay focused and calm while minimizing visual overload. The visual accessories apt for sensory integration therapy include:
- Light projectors
- Liquid toys
- Water beads
Equipment that produces deep pressure on the body help stimulate tactile receptors, which in turn releases serotonin in the brain. This function is beneficial in improving the behaviour in individuals by calming their aggression. Some of the tactile sensory products are:
- Ball pit balls
- Weighted blankets
- Scalp massagers
- Back scratchers
How Do Sensory Products Help?
Individuals with autism having sensory processing disorder can benefit from tools and accessories. Sensory toys can be easily integrated into the daily routine of children. Therapists recommend toys of various shapes and sizes. These toys include hand toys, cubes, rings, and spinners. They engage the minds and enhance concentration in a fun and enjoyable way. Sensory integration therapy with playful equipment can allow the children to:
- Stay calm
- Stay focused for a long time
As they experience less frustration they improve their sensory skills. Sensory integration therapy for autism promotes mental development to build strong neuro-connections. This promotes normal processing and responding to sensory information by the brain.
Thus, some vital benefits of including tools in sensory integration therapy are:
- Building nerve connections in the brain for handling learning tasks
- For the development of cognitive skills, motor skills, and boost communication skills
- Improving social interaction skills
- Calming aggression and depression
- Helping children to recognize sensory qualities like sticky, rough, wet, dry, cold and hot.