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SENSORY INTEGRATION DISORDER


WHAT IS SENSORY INTEGRATION?

Sensory integration is the coordination and interpretation of visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, vestibular and proprioceptive information. Sensory information is processed at four levels: registration (detection of stimuli from the body or the environment), modulation (matching arousal, attention and activity level to the demands of the environment without being distracted by irrelevant sensory input), discrimination (identification of the temporal and spatial characteristics of sensory information and recognition of their meaning), and praxis (developing and carrying out a motor plan for interaction with the environment). Difficulties with any of the stages may result in a disorder of sensory integration.

Disorders of sensory integration show a wide range of symptoms, including hyperactivity, distractibility, feeding problems, behavior problems (irritability, inability to share, inability to recognize needs of others, overly sensitive, difficulty coping with everyday stress), or low muscle tone and difficulty with coordination or motor planning, and may result in poor self-esteem. (See chart on the next page)

 

From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.

 

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