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autism and sensory integration

What is autism and sensory integration? The first is the disorder and the second is the therapy. Why is sensory integration effective for autistic individuals? People with autism are sensitive to all kinds of sensory stimuli including sound, light, touch and other awareness issues such as space and balance.

By using sensory integration tools such as swings, for example, the swinging motion helps calm the autistic individual to a point where he or she is then able to focus on a task as well as regulate his or her surroundings. See picture of platform sensory swing at end of this page.

There are many sensory integration therapies, from bouncing, to singing, to swinging and the like. Read more below.

“Many people with autism are also hypersensitive or under-sensitive to light, noise, and touch. They may be unable to stand the sound of a dishwasher, or, on the other extreme, need to flap and even injure themselves to be fully aware of their bodies. These sensory differences are sometimes called "sensory processing disorder" or "sensory processing dysfunction," and they may be treatable with sensory integration therapy.”

“Sensory integration therapy is essentially a form of occupational therapy, and it is generally offered by specially trained occupational therapists. It involves specific sensory activities (swinging, bouncing, brushing, and more) that are intended to help the patient regulate his or her sensory response. The outcome of these activities may be better focus, improved behavior, and even lowered anxiety.”.....

“Practitioners of sensory integration therapy are usually occupational therapists. Their focus is on the tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive systems. In English, this means that SI therapists work on normalizing patients' reactions to touch, help patients become better aware of their body in space, and help patients work on their ability to manage their bodies more appropriately (run and jump when it's time to run and jump, sit and focus when it's time to sit and focus, etc.).”

“If a sensory integration (SI) therapist has his or her own office, it may be equipped with a variety of unusual equipment, including swings, therapy balls, slides, ramps, a ball pit, and other sensory materials.”

“Depending upon the needs of the patient (usually a child), the SI therapist may use various techniques such as:"

"swinging"

"deep pressure therapy, which may include squeezing, rolling, etc."

"jumping on a mini or full-sized trampoline"

"playing with a toy that vibrates, is squeezable, etc."

"gross motor play such as wall climbing, balance beam, etc."

"brushing and joint compression”

Platform Swing See More in Autism Index Store

Incredible sensory swings here!

Another sensory integration therapy with swinging motion is this amazing floating bed!

floating bed

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