Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have sensory sensitivities that can be difficult to manage. Sensory integration therapists are trained to work with individuals on the spectrum and their parents, helping them find ways to cope with their symptoms through activities that promote a sense of balance for both mind and body. This article will discuss what sensory integration is, how it affects youth with ASD, and some tips you could try at home if your child struggles in this area!
What is sensory integration therapy?
Sensory integration therapy is a form of occupational or physical therapy that works to improve the sensory processing and movement skills of youth who have autism. This type of treatment uses different kinds of activities, such as games and playtime, to encourage children with ASD to better handle their emotions and behaviors so they can be more successful in social situations.
Who may benefit from it?
Parents whose kids struggle with fine motor tasks like handwriting, sitting still during school lectures, non-verbal communication (except for eye contact), working on visual details when reading/writing/doing math problems – especially if these struggles are accompanied by above average reasoning abilities – could consider seeking out an assessment for sensory integration at a local clinic. Some parents also report that their children seem to focus and learn better when they take regular movement breaks.
When should I consider sensory integration therapy?
Parents may want to seriously explore the idea of this type of treatment if a child’s learning style begins to hinder his/her academic performance, or if he/she seems emotionally overwhelmed by everyday stressors such as transitions between activities, noise from siblings, etc. Some parents choose sensory integration for kids that have been diagnosed with ADHD because it can help them become more attentive in class while reducing impulsivity levels. Parents who notice their child struggles consistently across multiple settings (e.g., at home and school) might also benefit from seeking out a professional to assess what could be causing these behaviors so they can find appropriate interventions.
What can we expect from sensory integration therapy?
Sensory integration activities are designed to help youth with ASD develop their skills in the areas of: regulation (ability to manage one’s own behavior, emotions and attention); motor control; cognitive processing; social awareness; and communication.