Sensory Integration Therapy is based on the theory of A. Jean Ayres (ASI) which includes an intervention approach, empirically derived disorders of sensory integration, and the description of how the neurological process of integrating and processing sensory information from the body as well as the environment contributes to participation in daily life, emotional regulation, learning and behavior.
The aim of a Sensory Integration Therapy is to help kids with sensory integration disorder. This is done by exposing those kids to sensory stimulation in a structured and repetitive way. The actual theory behind this therapy is that over time, the brain will itself adapt and allow kids to process and react to sensations in a more efficient way than before. This therapy is generally provided by a trained occupational therapist (OT). The OT helps the kid by determining through a proper evaluation whether or not your child would benefit through the SI therapy. A traditional SI therapy involves exposing a kid to sensory integration through the repetition of different activities. After a point, the OT makes those activities more complex and challenging. The idea is that through the repetition of such activities, the child’s nervous system will be able to respond in a very “organized” way to movement and sensations.
There are different typical therapies for different sensory disorders. The first one is the tactical disorder. Sensory processing disorder is treated by the therapist using materials such as rubber toys, glue, play dough, stickers and sticky tape in case the child likes the feeling of sticky textures. Other materials used for tactile sensation involves sand, beans, rice and water. Children with sensory problems are sent to a brushing program that brushes their body systematically throughout the day at regular intervals and desensitizes it. Children related to the autism spectrum most often enjoy sense of a firm overall pressure. This is provided by being squashed by firm hugs, pillows, or by weighted blankets and belts. These usually form a basis for interaction, play and showing affection. Neurotypical children may enjoy claustrophobic experiences such as making tents or tunnels from blankets over furniture. A therapist is usually well aware of a child’s response to the smell of certain substances. He may experiment by putting different fragrances in a rice bowl or play dough. Lastly, experimentation of games, computers, talking toys, squeaky toys, musical instruments and all other sorts of music will definitely help children by focusing on their sound intercepting capacity. The therapist may also try different pitches and tones of voice to gauge a child’s reaction.
Every child with sensory issues or autism is eligible for the treatment of sensory integration therapy as it is a harmless and the most convenient therapy for children.
A child who is having sensory processing issues but is able to overcome that with regular and proper help and guidance of his/her parents, may not require therapy.
The side effects associated with sensory integration therapy are low self-esteem, decreased friendships, poor self-confidence, social isolation, depression, underachievement, and overstimulation of senses through recreational activities.
The post treatment guidelines are to exercise the mind of the child by indulging them in extra curricular activities and playful events which keep their minds engaged. As a parent or family member, you should talk to your kid more and try to boost their self-esteem so that they don’t go into depression due to this temporary defect. Always give them positive tips regarding what to do while they are in school. Also, keep monitoring the progress of your child in a mental stimulating game. Give your kids easy puzzles to solve first, then more complicated and complex ones to engage them in those activities more. These small and easily achievable targets intrigue kids and make them hooked on to a particular activity amid increasing their sensory capacity.
There is no fixed time for the completion of this treatment. The child’s brain development capacity depends on the quality of therapy provided and how fast the child is able to adapt to it and communicate in a more organized manner.
The cost of treatment ranges between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,000 per session. Overall cost for the whole treatment should range somewhere between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000.
If the therapy is not helping the child by not improving his/her brain capacity or sensory interpretations, then the treatment is futile and you must opt for some alternative remedy. On the other hand, if the therapy has somehow improved the mental ability of a child then the results of the treatment will be permanent if the routine is maintained for some time.
There are a number of alternative treatment methods available for sensory processing disorders. These include pranic healing, superbrain yoga, agnihotra, homeopathy, animal assisted therapy, salt therapy and the best resources for family members.
Rs. 10,000 - Rs. 20,000