What is Sensory Integration

SI Defined

  The term "sensory integration" describes the neurological organization of our senses. Usually, when we think of senses, we count five: taste, smell, sight, sound and touch. Actually, there are two more; the sense of proprioception (where am I in space?) and vestibular processing (balance), both of which are involved with movement, gravity and body position. These seven senses provide the foundation necessary for all types of learning and movement.


When our brains process the information we receive through our senses, our nervous system responds appropriately to incoming stimuli. Thus, we instinctively snatch our hands from a hot stove, shift our weight from one foot to another when climbing stairs, slip easily into our jackets or stop ourselves from lashing out in frustration.


Our physical response as well as our behavioral, emotional and intellectual responses depend on the smooth operating integration of all our senses. When a person’s neurological processing is inefficient performing ordinary tasks and responding to ordinary events can be enormously challenging. 


Unfortunately, just growing older does not always mean getting better at many physical and intellectual tasks. What does help is therapeutic intervention: Occupational Therapy.