Navigating the Sensory World: Sensory Integration Therapy for Sensory Processing Disorder in Children

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can be a confusing and challenging condition for both children and their families. It affects how children receive and process sensory information, leading to overreactions, underreactions, or even a complete shutdown. The good news is, there is a powerful tool available to help them navigate the sensory world – Sensory Integration Therapy (SI Therapy).

 Therapy is a form of occupational therapy based on the theory that the brain needs to integrate sensory information from all eight senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, vestibular, proprioception, and interoception) to function optimally. When sensory processing is disrupted, children can experience difficulties with:

  • Motor skills: Gross and fine motor skills
  • Social skills: Engaging with peers and adults
  • Emotional regulation: Managing emotions effectively
  • Learning and academics: Focusing and retaining information
  • Self-care: Dressing, toileting, and eating


How can SI Therapy help?

Therapy uses playful, engaging activities to help children learn to process and integrate sensory information in a healthy way. These activities may include:

  • Swings and slides: Provide vestibular input, which helps with balance and coordination.
  • Weighted blankets and vests: Provide deep pressure input, which can be calming and organizing.
  • Sensory tools: Fidget toys, brushes, and chewable items can help children self-regulate sensory input.
  • Obstacle courses: Encourage gross motor development and spatial awareness.
  • Art and music: Promote creativity and sensory exploration.

Benefits of SI Therapy:

SI Therapy has been shown to be effective in improving a wide range of symptoms associated with SPD. Some of the potential benefits include:

  • Improved sensory processing and regulation
  • Enhanced motor skills and coordination
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Better social interaction and communication skills
  • Reduced anxiety and emotional outbursts
  • Improved self-care skills
  • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem

Who can benefit from SI Therapy?

SI Therapy can be beneficial for children of all ages with SPD. It is also often recommended for children with other conditions such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Developmental Delay
  • Learning disabilities
  • Sensory and motor disorders
  • Anxiety and depression

Getting started with SI Therapy:

The first step is to schedule an initial evaluation with a therapist. The therapist will assess your child’s individual needs and develop a personalized treatment plan. Treatment sessions typically last 45-60 minutes and are held one to two times per week.

Supporting your child through SI Therapy:

  • As a parent, you play an important role in supporting your child’s success in SI Therapy. Here are a few things you can do:

    • Learn about SI Therapy: The more you understand about the therapy, the better you can support your child.
    • Talk to your child’s therapist: Ask questions and share your concerns.
    • Be patient and consistent: It takes time and effort to see results.
    • Make sensory modifications at home: Create a sensory-friendly environment for your child.
    • Celebrate your child’s progress: No matter how small, acknowledge and celebrate your child’s accomplishments.


  • Sensory Integration Therapy can be a life-changing intervention for children with Sensory Processing Disorder. By providing them with the tools and strategies they need to navigate the sensory world, SI Therapy can help them achieve their full potential.

Additional Resources for Parents:

How Dr. Sumeet Dhawan Can Help:


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