Sensory Integration

Strategies for Challenging Behaviors

Effective controlled sensory input


Sensory experiences include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, smell, taste, and the pull of gravity. Distinguishing between these is the process of Sensory Integration (SI) . While the process of sensory integration occurs automatically and without effort for most, for some the process is inefficient. Extensive effort and attention are required in these individuals for sensory integration to occur, without a guarantee of it being accomplished. When this happens, goals are not easily completed, resulting in sensory integration disorder (SID) / sensory processing disorder (SPD) .

The normal process of sensory integration begins before birth and continues throughout life, with the majority of sensory development occurring before the early teenage years. For most children sensory integration develops in the course of ordinary childhood activities. But for some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. When the process is disordered, a number of problems in learning, motor skills and behavior may be evident. The ability for sensory integration to become more refined and effective coincides with the development process as it determines how well motor and speech skills, and emotional stability develop.

Those who have sensory integration dysfunction may be unable to respond to certain sensory information by planning and organizing what needs to be done in an appropriate and automatic manner. This may cause a primitive survival technique called ” fright, flight, and fight ” or withdrawal response, which originates from the “primitive” brain. This response often appears extreme and inappropriate for the particular situation.

By providing Sensory Integration services, we are able to supply vital sensory input and experiences that children with sensory processing issues need to grow and learn. The sensory integrative approach is guided by one important aspect: the child’s motivation in selection of the activities. By allowing them to be actively involved, and explore activities that provide sensory experiences most beneficial to them, children become more mature and efficient at organizing sensory information.


Sensory Integration is a neurological process that organizes sensation from one’s own body and the environment. Sensory integration makes it possible to use the body effectively within the environment. Children with autism are believed to have difficulties integrating sensory information.

Our program uses stimulation of visual (visual integration training), auditory, and vestibular (balance) senses to help improve sensory issues. Most of us unconsciously learn to combine our senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, balance, body in space) in order to make sense of our environment.

Children with autism have trouble learning to do this. Sensory Integration places a child in a room specifically designed to stimulate and challenge all of the senses. During the session, we work closely with the child to encourage movement within the room and to explore new activities.

Benefits of Sensory Integration include:

  • Developing or reactivating hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste
  • Advancing coordination and motor development
  • Encouraging children to explore and discover their environment
  • Encouraging the child to take control of their environment
  • Promoting independence
  • Increasing choice and opportunity for the child
  • Eliciting creativity and imagination
  • Increasing concentration and focus attention
  • Increasing awareness and improves alertness
  • Encouraging communication verbal and non-verbal
  • Increasing social interaction
  • Promoting calmness
  • Decreasing aggressive behavior
  • Providing an unrestrained environment where children feel that they can have fun
  • Providing mental and physical relaxation

Sensory integration therapy is based on the assumption that the child is either overstimulated or under stimulated by the environment. Therefore, the aim of sensory integration therapy is to improve the ability of the brain to process sensory information so that the child will function better in his daily activities.


Our multi-sensory room is a place where children and adults with special needs can explore and develop their senses and skills. There are many different features ranging from a soft play area, interactive equipment which makes dramatic changes to the sensory environment using sound and lighting and a large swing with multiple “sitting” styles to suit each client’s needs.

A multi-sensory room is extremely therapeutic for both children and adults with sensory processing disorders… from mild to severe. Our new multi-sensory room is designed to gently stimulate some, or all, of the senses depending on the needs of the client. This in turn leads to improvements in their overall health and development.

Controlled sensory input has been shown to be effective in reducing stress and improving concentration, eye-hand coordination and motor function for children and adults with special needs, developmental disabilities, autism, chronic pain, stroke, brain injuries, and other conditions.

Our aim is to develop and provide even more programs to help improve our clients’ overall mental and physical abilities.

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<p style="text-align: justify;">If you are interested in receiving any additional information regarding New Horizons Academy, please feel free to contact us. We would love to address any questions you may have.</p>

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