OT and Sensory Processing Disorder

The more I learn about sensory integration, the more I realize that is everythingAs Jean Ayers said, the brain is a sensory processing machine. Everything we do relies on the nervous system, which relies on sensory input and motor output to coordinate movement, regulate emotion, and so much more of what makes us human.

When I first heard about sensory processing issues, or sensory processing disorder, I thought it meant having certain isolated sensory sensitivities, e.g. a child didn’t like milk and became dysregulated when he saw/felt/tasted it. I didn’t understand it enough to really interest me. I didn’t yet understand the complex origin and holistic nature of sensory processing, how dysfunction of the sensory system gets into a child’s mind, affects their sense of self, interactions, emotions, and all relationships throughout life. 

The best thing about OT is that it allows me to learn the presentations, or symptoms, of sensory processing disorder, understand how they alter behavior, and understand how to help to integrate the system and help the child to function as best they can. It is looking at subtle cues, reading a child’s preferences, actions, or idiosyncrasies can help to identify the underlying root of behavior or origin of the issue to identify where change is needed – where to help enable the child’s light to shine the way it is meant to.

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