Sensory integration is a term that has been used to describe processes in the brain that allow us to take information we receive from our 5 senses, organize it, and respond appropriately. We also have a vestibular sense (balance) that tells us how to position our bodies and heads, and a proprioceptive sense (awareness of body in space) that helps us know what we do with our joints, muscles, and ligaments.
It is designed to help children with sensory-processing problems (including possibly those with ASDs) cope with the difficulties they have processing sensory input. Therapy sessions are play-oriented and may include using equipment such as swings, trampolines, and slides.
Sensory integration also uses therapies such as deep pressure, brushing, weighted vests, and swinging. These therapies appear to sometimes be able to calm an anxious child. In addition, sensory integration therapy is believed to increase a child’s threshold for tolerating sensory-rich environments, make transitions less disturbing, and reinforce positive behaviors.