Articles Title

Learning Approaches - Sensory Integration

Individuals on the autism spectrum frequently have sensory difficulties. They may be hypo- or hyper-reactive or lack the ability to integrate the senses. Sensory integration therapy, usually done by occupational, physical or speech therapists, focuses on desensitizing the child and helping him or her reorganize sensory information. For example, if a child has difficulties with the sense of touch, therapy might include handling a variety of materials with different textures.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., who herself has autism, developed a "squeeze machine", a device that delivers deep touch pressure to help her learn to tolerate touching and to reduce anxiety and nervousness. The "squeeze machine" applies lateral, inwardly directed pressure to both lateral aspects of a person's entire body, by compressing the user between two foam-padded panels. Clinical observations and several studies suggest that deep touch pressure may be beneficial for individuals with ASD and probably children with ADHD.

Auditory integration therapy is used in individuals who have an over-sensitivity to sound. It may involve having the child listen to a variety of different sound frequencies coordinated to the level of impairment.

Before proceeding with any sensory integration therapy, it is important that the therapist observe the child and have a clear understanding of his/her specific sensitivities.


Treatment Section Photo
Treatment Centers

Sixty-one university-based centers are in a unique position to facilitate the flow of disability-related information between community and university.

> more

Treatment Video Case Photo
Jeff, Age 35