Sensory Integration Therapy

Some children feel physically uncomfortable in their world. These feeling can be due to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as “sensory integration dysfunction”). Sensory Processing Disorder is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. A person with Sensory Processing Disorder finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.

Winneshiek Medical Center Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine offers sensory integration therapy to treat Sensory Processing Disorder. In collaboration with your primary care doctor, an occupational therapist will work with your family to provide a fun, play-based therapy plan that takes place in a sensory rich environment.

The goal of therapy is to foster appropriate responses to sensation in an active, meaningful, and fun way so the child is able to behave in a more functional manner. Over time, children become more comfortable in environments outside the clinic (home, school, community) by reacting to sensations with the appropriate responses. Effective occupational therapy enables children with Sensory Processing Disorder to take part in the normal activities of childhood, such as playing with friends, enjoying school, eating, dressing, and sleeping.

Discuss your concerns with a primary care provider, and if appropriate, request a referral to Winneshiek Medical Center Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Call Winneshiek Medical Center at 563-382-2911 to learn more about sensory integration therapy.

Common Signs of Sensory Processing Problems

Out-of-proportion reactions to touch, sounds, sights, movement, tastes, or smells, including:

  • Bothered by clothing fabrics, labels, tags, etc.
  • Distressed by light touch or unexpected touch
  • Dislikes getting messy
  • Resists grooming activities
  • Very sensitive to sounds (volume or frequency)
  • Squints, blinks, or rubs eyes frequently
  • Bothered by lights or patterns
  • High activity level or very sedentary
  • Unusually high or low pain threshold