Sensory Integration (SI) is the automatic ability to receive process, organise and respond to the sensory information received both internally and externally. Sensory information is processed by our vestibular system (sense of balance), proprioceptive system (body awareness), visual, tactile/touch, auditory/hearing, gustatory/taste and olfactory/smell. Children with autism often present with varied sensory processing difficulties.
At Hillside Specialist School and College the Sensory Support team aim to teach children appropriate sensory integration strategies to modulate their sensory needs, and enable them to access lesson and activities throughout the school day. We work closely with the Sensory Integration therapist, and liaise with class teachers and teaching assistants to ensure appropriate strategies are implemented throughout the school day. All classes use a wide variety of strategies within their daily routine, and each child has a sensory passport detailing their individual needs.
Sensory Integration strategies you may see around school include:
– Therapy balls, beanbags and cycling machines
– Tactile toys and objects
– Weighted or vibrating equipment
– Deep pressure
– Ear defenders
– Purposeful physical activity e.g. heavy lifting, using gym equipment
– Low arousal classroom environments e.g. little visual stimulation, lights turned off.
For more information about Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing:
Sensory Integration Therapy
Justine Lang is an Occupational Therapist and Sensory Integration specialist from Shine Therapy. She provides Sensory Integration assessments, support for class teams and parents and provides 1:1 therapy and small group therapy for the children at Hillside. Justine is in school on Fridays, if you have any questions please contact here on the school phone number.
For more information about Shine Therapy please visit their website: