The joyful sound of hearing loved ones signing happy birthday is pleasing to almost everyone. Young children who cry, scream and tell you to stop singing this song on their special day could have sensory integration disorder. Sadly for these children, the way their senses communicate with the brain to what is going on around them isn’t accurate. This causes a wide range of behavioral outbursts you may already begin seeing in your little one or anyone who has a sensory integration disorder.
What exactly is sensory integration disorder?
Sensory integration disorder is a condition that affects all five human senses such as touch, smell, sight, hearing and the ability to experience movement. For some children with this disorder sounds such as the loud signing of the song, Happy Birthday might not sound pleasant to them. Instead, simply whispering happy birthday into their ear is much better for them. Some children might not have a problem with noises but might hate the texture of the fabric that their clothing is made out of or the blankets on their beds. Other children with this disorder hate lights that are too bright and enjoy being in dim rooms and quiet areas. Your child may be experiencing multiple sensory issues or just one. Thankfully there are ways to help your child or anyone suffering from this condition learn to cope with it easier. One of those ways is with sensory integration therapy.
What is sensory integration therapy?
Sensory integration therapy is done with a therapist who is specialized in knowing how to expose your child to the right amount of stimulating activity within the area where they are experiencing sensory issues. For example, a child who hates loud singing might start off with a sensory treatment that involves listening to music or someone signing their favorite song quietly at firstly. Then in time listen to their favorite songs louder or at a more comfortable range for them with the therapist until they eventually reach a point where loud singing or music doesn’t bother them as much, or the child learns the tools to cope with loud sounds better. The amount of therapy a child with sensory disorder needs depends on the severity.
How is the severity of the sensory disorder discovered?
The severity of the sensory disorder is discovered by either parent, doctor, or therapist that notices a child behaving abnormally when it comes to their senses. A child who hates the way a fabric feels may love being naked all the time until they find the fabric that feels good to wear on their body. In this case, it isn’t a life-threatening sensory issue. If it’s a child who is extremely unhappy with touching such as hugs or tickling and seems to have outburst that involves headbanging the sensory issue is severe. The only way to truly figure out the severity of the sensory disorder is by first figuring out if your child is suffering from under-reactive or over-reactive sensory issues that a doctor or therapist can help you do.
What are some end thoughts to keep in mind?
If you think your child might be experiencing sensory disorder it is wise to begin talking with your doctor about it. If your child is diagnosed with this disorder it is important to know that sensory integration therapy does help and there are things you can adjust in your daily life to help them feel better as well as yourself.