Q&A about Sensory Integration Therapy

Lorna Jean King, OTR, FAOTA, is a pioneer of sensory integration therapy.  A colleague of the late A. Jean Ayres, she founded The Center for Neuro-developmental Studies (CNS) in Phoenix.  Here are her thoughts about sensory integration. Q: What is the goal of sensory integration? A: To facilitate the development of the nervous system’s ability to process sensory input.  SI pulls together all sensory messages to form coherent information on which we can act.  This normal process is disrupted in autistic individuals, 85-90% of whom have SI problems. Q: Please comment on the relationship between behavior and sensory needs. A: Behavior is communication.  Observing what triggers the behavior, we can modify the environment and help the child learn self-calming techniques that improve behavior. Q: What should parents look for when deciding whether to have their child evaluated? A: The child who is unusually fearful of movement, or who lacks normal fear of falling, may have vestibular difficulties.  A hypersensitive child…