Kid-Eze Therapy Services

Sensory Integration Assessment for Preschoolers

What is Sensory Integration?

SENSORY refers to our senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste, and awareness of motion/movement and gravity). Information from your senses tells you much about your world.

INTEGRATION is the process of allowing the brain to use and make sense of the information that the senses take in.

The Washing MachineOccupational therapy programs are based on understanding how people deal with life’s sensations. We specifically look and test for how an individual perceives or organises sensations from life and body experiences. Essentially, the occupational therapist is trying to see if the child’s internal sensory systems are working properly together.

We use sensory integration for all activities, but occupational therapists are especially concerned about organisation of sensory information for use in the classroom, the playground, activities of daily living (home), and finally, relationships and interactions with others.

The sensory integration approach is based on the research and writings of many therapists and physicians. Dr Jean Ayres, an occupational therapist, was a leading contributor to this way of looking at how children (and adults) develop and interact with their environment. She developed one of the main theories of sensory integration, and created testing procedures and treatment techniques based upon sensory integration theory. Her methods have been widely used for over forty years.

Sensory integration is a specialised approach that requires post-graduate training and clinical experience.

Christine Siddle has gained specialist training and experience in this approach from the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA. Tania Houghton is also a qualified sensory integration therapist.

About the Assessment

Information about ‘sensory integration’ is constantly evolving but for the purpose of this age group we predominantly use the Sensory Profile (a standardised questionnaire completed by parents of children from 3 - 11 years). Information from the questionnaire is used in combination with ’observations’ of the preschooler either in the clinic or relevant childcare setting.

This provides us with comprehensive information about how sensory processing difficulties may be impacting on the preschooler’s behavioural, social and emotional responses.     

Sensory Integration Checklist for Preschoolers

If you answer ‘yes’ to 3 or more of the following questions, then contact us to discuss the possibility of booking in for a sensory integration assessment for your preschooler.

  • Is your child particularly sensitive to touch?
  • Does your child particularly enjoy fast-moving or spinning activities at the playground or at home, perhaps with little or no dizziness?
  • Does your child show particular caution in approaching activities involving fast movement or movement of the body through space?
  • Does your child have unusual sensitivities to smell?
  • Is your child particularly sensitive to noise, eg. putting hands over ears when others are not bothered by sounds?
  • Does your child tire more easily than others?
  • Does your child have trouble orienting his/her body effectively for dressing activities, such as putting arms in sleeves, putting fingers in gloves, or putting toes in socks?
  • Does your child avoid active physical games involving running, jumping, and use of large play equipment?
  • Does your child avoid manipulation of small objects?
  • Does your child avoid activities involving the use of “tools” such as crayons, pencils, markers, and scissors?
  • Do you feel that your child has a short attention span, even for things that she/he enjoys?
  • Do you feel that your child tends to be restless or “fidgety” during times when quiet concentration is required?
  • Has your child had difficulty regulating his/her sleep patterns?

T SwingIf you (and your child’s teacher) answered ‘yes’ to many of the above questions, then please contact us for a sensory integration assessment. Your child has a good chance of developing into a competent, self-regulating, smoothly functioning adult, if he or she receives understanding, support, and early intervention.

Sensory integration treatment helps the child to process all the senses so they can work together. When the child actively engages in meaningful activities that provide the intensity, duration, and quality of sensation their central nervous system craves, his adaptive behaviour improves, which leads to better sensory integration. As a result, perceptions, learning, competence, and self-confidence improve.

The child becomes able to plan, organise, and carry out what he needs and wants to do. Treatment now helps him build a strong foundation for the future when life becomes more demanding and complex.

Without treatment, Sensory Integration Dysfunction persists as a life-long problem. Indeed, the child will not grow out of it but will grow into it. Treatment helps the child develop skills to interact successfully in social situations. It gives the child the tools to become a more efficient learner. It improves the child’s emotional well-being and family relationships.