Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID, also called sensory processing disorder) is a neurological disorder causing difficulties with processing information from the five classic senses (vision, auditory, touch, olfaction, and taste), the sense of movement (vestibular system), and/or the positional sense (proprioception).

Sensory Integration Dysfunction is evaluated and treated by an Occupational Therapist.

Sensory integration may impact a child’s learning, development, and/or behavior.  The following are signs to be aware of:

  • Overly sensitive to touch movement, sights or sounds
  • Under-reactive to sensory stimulation
  • Activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
  • Coordination problems
  • Delays in speech, language, motor skills, or academic achievement
  • Poor organization of behavior
  • Poor self concept
  • Avoids touching certain textures of material (blankets, rugs, stuffed animals)
  • Avoids using hands for play
  • Is a picky eater, only eating certain tastes and textures;
  • Repeatedly touches surfaces or objects that are soothing (i.e., blanket)
  • Avoids/dislikes playground equipment; i.e., swings, ladders, slides, or merry-go-rounds
  • Loses balance easily and may appear clumsy
  • In constant motion, can’t seem to sit still
  • Always running, jumping, hopping etc. instead of walking
  • Poor gross motor skills; jumping, catching a ball, jumping jacks, climbing a ladder etc. poor fine motor skills; difficulty using “tools”, such as pencils, silverware, combs, scissors etc.
  • Excessive banging on/with toys and objects
  • Frequently hits, bumps or pushes other children
  • Difficulty regulating pressure when writing/drawing; may be too light to see or so hard the tip of writing utensil breaks
  • Distracted by sounds not normally noticed by others; i.e., humming of lights or refrigerators, fans, heaters, or clocks ticking
  • Has difficulty with sucking, chewing, and swallowing; may choke or have a fear of choking
  • Constantly putting objects in mouth past the toddler years
  • Reacts negatively to, or dislikes smells which do not usually bother, or get noticed, by other people
  • Distracted by other visual stimuli in the room; i.e., movement, decorations, toys, windows, doorways etc.
  • Has difficulty telling the difference between different colors, shapes, and sizes
  • Difficulty with consistent spacing and size of letters during writing and/or lining up numbers in math problems
  • Difficulty filtering out other sounds while trying to pay attention to one person talking
  • Prefers playing by self with objects or toys rather than with people
  • Gets easily frustrated
  • prone to outbursts and tantrums
  • Participates in repetitive play for hours; i.e., lining up toys cars, blocks, watching one movie over and over etc.
  • Severe/mild mood swings throughout the day (angry to happy in short periods of time, perhaps without visible cause)

If any or all of the signs concern you, please contact Kids Unlimited to obtain further information.