Sensory integration disorder

A common disorder that children have nowadays is called Sensory Integration Disorder or SID. Parents of children who have Sensory Integration Disorder are relieved to find out that with the right treatment and information their child can learn how to manage themselves effectively and continue to live peacefully at home with the rest of the family. Many times parents who have a child with this disorder are at their wits end not knowing what is wrong and not knowing why their child is causing them so much frustration. Thankfully these parents are not alone and can find great benefit their child and themselves by getting educated on this disorder.

There are various different behavior problems that children with sensory integration disorder can exhibit. It is very helpful for the parent to realize that their child’s brain is operating differently than others. As human beings our five senses are processed together in the brain by certain neurological structures. We all have five external senses which are sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. We also have 2 internal senses that are lesser known. These are the sense of body movement and body awareness. When these 7 senses are not functioning properly children have what is known as sensory processing dysfunction or sensory integration disorder.

Symptoms of sensory integration disorder can vary greatly from one child to another. They also vary in intensity and in characteristics. When a child learns about the senses and begins to fully understand them it can greatly help the way they perceive the world around them. Children with sensory integration disorder can overreact too an over abundance of environmental stimuli. Children who exhibit high levels of anxiety in response to too much stimulation can be suffering from SID. They will experience difficulties because their brain is confused about processing information from their senses. They may also have other disorders like ADHD, Autism or have a lot of temper tantrums. Signs that your child may have SID are:

  • Constant spinning and swinging
  • Complaining about clothing being scratchy or itchy
  • Complaining about the tags on their clothes up at him bothering their skin
  • Being picky about food textures and the way it feels in their mouth
  • Being overly sensitive to smells and sounds
  • Having a high pain tolerance
  • Impulsiveness
  • Easily distracted
  • Resists being cuddled or held
  • Inordinate clumsiness
  • Avoidance of stimulating environment

There are two types of sensory integration disorders. One type is called “sensory avoiding” and the other type is called “sensory seeking.” Children who are sensory avoiding do not like to be touched or cuddled and do not like loud noises. Children who are sensory seeking can to be hyperactive and unaware of touch or pain. They also enjoy loud noises and sounds. Children who have sensory integration disorder also have problems with their major and fine motor skills. They have difficulty imitating movements and trouble with balance. These children prefer to do activities while sitting down. For example, they like to play a lot of video games.

If you suspect that your child has sensory integration disorder you should take them in order a SIPT evaluation by a qualified occupational therapist. Your child’s school district may or may not have an occupational therapist that is qualified to make a SIPT evaluation. If your school does not have a qualified occupational therapist you should ask for a referral for one from those in the medical field. Getting the proper diagnosis for sensory integration disorder can greatly improve the quality of your child’s life and can limit the negative affect that SID can cause. Finding out that your child has SID may be challenging but with the proper education on this disorder you can help your child and the rest of your family to a life with less frustration. You can also help your child at school by explaining your child’s disorder to the teacher.

Last updated on Mar 4th, 2010 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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