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Sensory Therapy

What is sensory psychotherapy and who is it for ? 

What is sensory therapy ?

Sensory (neuro) integration therapy is an accompaniment focused on the disharmonic sensory responses expressed by children with developmental disorders. It accompanies them in the regulation of these disorders. 
This therapy is based on the idea that offering sensory activities to a child allows him/her to improve:

  • their ability to process their nervous system

  • the modulation of its alert function

  • organization and assimilation of the information transmitted.

Principles and objectives of sensory therapy

Sensory integration therapy was developed by Anna Jean Ayres, occupational therapist and doctor in developmental psychology, in the 1980s. This support method postulates that, from a very young age, the child explores, senses, organizes and understands his environment through sensory information from his different senses, and is processed by the central nervous system.
Sensory integration is, according to this therapeutic approach, the natural process that allows the child to transform his sensations into perceptions of his environment in order to understand and adapt to it.
The harmonious development of the young child is therefore strongly dependent on this neuro-developmental process. (Neuro)sensory integration develops in a natural and adapted way for most children. However, for some individuals, this process does not occur naturally and sensory therapies aim to compensate for these developmental disorders. 
For subjects with significant hypersensitivity, sensory therapy proposes work to attenuate or modulate this exacerbated sensoriality, as well as environmental design to act on disturbing sensory stimuli (light, noise, etc.). 

Who is sensory therapy for ?

Sensory therapies appear to have beneficial effects on attention, reducing stress and maladaptive behaviours; for children and adolescents with pervasive developmental disorders
Many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders have sensory problems and may have difficulty assimilating information from their senses. Sensory therapies are generally recommended for this type of patient and are applied by occupational therapists, physiotherapists or speech therapists who have received specialised training. 

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