Middle Childhood Intervention: Module Three – The Professionals

Sensory Integration Specialist

Sensory integration specialists are occupational therapists with special training in sensory integration therapy. Human beings have five senses (Fig. 1) (seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting) and two additional movement senses (the vestibular system (see ECI Glossary) and the proprioceptive system (see ECI Glossary)). Sensory integration involves these 7 senses working well with one another.

five senses

Figure 1. Five senses

When a child’s sensory system does not work well he or she child may need the help of a sensory integration specialist.

Sensory integration specialists work with different groups of children, including:

Sensory integration specialists offer children therapy individually or in small groups. They work very closely with parents and teach them basic sensory integration techniques. They may also help children and their parents use adaptive equipment, such as balance balls.

Sensory integration specialists often serve on Individual Education Plan (IEP) (see full Glossary) teams and offer teachers advice on how to make their classrooms less overwhelming to children who are hypersensitive (see full Glossary), or more sensory stimulating children who are hyposensitive (see full Glossary).

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