Understanding Sensory Integration (SI): Helping Your Child at School and Home

April 18, 2024

Imagine a world where the light of a fluorescent feels like a glare, the scratch of a shirt tag sends tingling down your back, and a crowded playground feels overwhelming. This is the reality for many children who struggle with sensory processing issues.

Sensory integration is the process by which our brains take information from our senses (touch, sight, smell, taste, hearing, and movement) and turn it into a meaningful experience. When this process is interrupted, it can impact a child's ability to function in daily life.

Who Can Benefit from Sensory Integration (SI)?

Children who experience sensory processing difficulties can benefit from Sensory Integration therapy. These children may exhibit some of the following signs:

  • Oversensitivity: They may be bothered by loud noises, bright lights, certain textures, or strong smells.
  • Under-sensitivity: They may crave strong sensory input, such as jumping, crashing with a wall, or seeking out loud noises.
  • Sensory seeking: They may constantly be fidgeting, chewing on objects, or spinning.
  • Sensory avoiding: They may avoid certain activities, food, or situations due to overwhelming sensory input.

These challenges associated with Sensory Integration can manifest in various ways, impacting a child's ability to:

  • Focus on school: Difficulty filtering out background noise or uncomfortable clothing can make it hard to concentrate.
  • Participate in social activities: Sensory sensitivities can make playgrounds or crowded spaces overwhelming.
  • Complete daily tasks: Buttons that are too difficult to manage or tags that feel itchy can make getting dressed very hard.

What is the process for SI?

Evaluating Sensory Processing with the EASI Assessment

Once you have understood what is Sensory Integration, the next set of processes is as follows. The Evaluation Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI) is a standardized tool used by occupational therapists (OTs) to assess a child's sensory processing abilities.

The results of the EASI can help the OT create an individualized SI therapy program to respond to the child's specific needs. This kind of Sensory Integration approach

 may include activities that:

  • Provide sensory input: Activities like swinging, jumping, or deep-pressure massage can help children who crave sensory input.
  • Reduce sensory overload: Strategies like noise-cancelling headphones or fidget toys can help children who are oversensitive.
  • Improve sensory discrimination: Activities that challenge children to differentiate between different textures, sounds, or smells can help them organize sensory information more effectively.

How Can SI Help Your Child?

Sensory Integration techniques can be a turning point for children with sensory processing difficulties. Here's how it can benefit them in different areas:

  • School: Improved focus, participation, and reduced meltdowns can lead to better academic performance and a more positive school experience.
  • Daily Activities of Living (ADL): Learning to manage clothing tags, and tolerate haircuts, or crowded spaces. It can increase independence and self-confidence.
  • Social Interaction: Enhanced ability to tolerate social environments and engage with peers.

Remember, every child is unique. If you suspect your child may have sensory processing difficulties, consult an occupational therapist.

With the right evaluation and intervention, SI therapy can help your child reach their full potential and succeed at school, at home, and in all aspects of life.


Schaaf, R. C., Dumont, R. L., Arbesman, M., & May-Benson, T. A. (2018). Efficacy of occupational therapy using Ayres Sensory Integration®: A systematic review. The American journal of occupational therapy72(1), 7201190010p1-7201190010p10.

Mailloux, Z., Parham, L. D., Roley, S. S., Ruzzano, L., & Schaaf, R. C. (2018). Introduction to the evaluation in ayres sensory integration®(EASI). The American Journal of Occupational Therapy72(1), 7201195030p1-7201195030p7.

Chat with us
fshnkuwait © 2024. All Rights Reserved