Sensory Integration Theory aims to explain behaviors, plan intervention, and predict behavioral change through intervention, and provide specific intervention strategies to remediate the underlying sensory issues that affect functional performance. It purposes therapeutic interventions that incorporate sensation to affect multi-sensory perception to influence learning and behavior, as the central nervous system does not process sensory information in isolation. It documented six types of sensory integration dysfunction; they are: developmental dyspraxia, visual perception, form and space perception, and visual-motor functions, tactile defensiveness linked with hyperactive-distractible behaviors, vestibular and postural deficits, deficits in visual figure ground discrimination, and deficits in auditory and language functions. The hallmark of sensory integration is that it is done in a safe environment that children play, which the activities are the reward to them. The intervention addresses the sensory needs for children to make adaptive responses to the environments. It adapted the principles of motor learning, adaptive response, and purposeful activity. It has a list of essential principles for intervention using the sensory integration approach. Some include activities that are rich in sensation (especially vestibular, tactile, and proprioceptive sensation) to promote regulation of affect and alertness, etc.
Sensory processing disorder
Domain of occupation
It provides principles and strategies for therapeutic interventions using the sensory integration approach for children and people with sensory integrative dysfunctions.
Roley, S. S., Mailloux, Z., Miller-Kuhaneck, H., & Glennon, T. (2007). Understanding Ayres’ sensory integration. OT Practice, 12(17), CE-1-CE8.
The Sensory Integration (SI) frame of reference focuses on how the interaction between the sensory systems including auditory, vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, and visual systems, provides integrated information that contributes to a child’s learning and adaptive behaviors. The key consideration is that children have the abilities to make adaptive responses to constantly changing sensory environments. The sensory integrative abilities include sensory modulation, sensory discrimination, postural-ocular control, praxis, bilateral integration, and sequencing.
This model of practice is based on the theoretical concepts relating to the child, environment, task, and the interaction among these key factors and the child’s participation in different occupations. A goodness-of-fit of those factors is necessary for successful participation in occupations.
The dynamic system theory model of visual perception aims to facilitate practitioners in understanding the development of visual perception from a dynamic systems theory perspective. This model views vision and ocular motor abilities as a part (instead of the foundation) of the complex interaction of components of the experience of vision.
This frame of reference adapts a top-down approach to identify visual perceptual factors that limit an individual’s daily participation, and adaptive and compensation approaches are used to facilitate engagement in meaningful occupation. It uses theories from cognition, developmental psychology, education, and Warren’s developmental hierarchy of visual perceptual skills. Visual Perceptual skill development is viewed to be developed from a hierarchy, starting from oculomotor control, visual fields, visual acuity.
The Conceptual Model for Performance in Handwriting views that handwriting is important for one’s work and/or education domains of occupations. It considers the performance components, performance areas (functional performance), performance contexts, and the interactive relationship among them. Prerequisites to handwriting include performance components in sensory, perceptual, motor cognitive, and language functions, as well as integrations of these components.