Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID)

Our senses work together in providing our brains with information about what is going on around us. When we need to perform a task, our brain receives the input from our senses, processes it, and sends back the necessary information to enable us to complete the task. The process of the brain organising and interpreting this information is called sensory integration. For most people, this process happens automatically and without any problems. However, when our senses do not integrate well, there can be problems in achieving to the best of our ability.

Sensory Integration Dysfunction is a neurological dysfunction causing difficulties with processing information from the five direct senses (hearing, vision, touch, smell and taste), the sense of balance (vestibular) and the sense of knowing where our body is in space (proprioception). The information is transmitted by the senses in the normal way, but is processed in a distorted, delayed or un-associated way that may cause confusion or even discomfort.

Some signs of Sensory Integration Dysfunction may include:

  • Over-sensitive or under-sensitive to certain sounds
  • Over-sensitive or under-sensitive to light or certain colours
  • Over-sensitive or under-sensitive to touch
  • Over-sensitive or under-sensitive to movement
  • Unusually high or low activity levels
  • Physical clumsiness
  • Apparent carelessness
  • Impulsivity
  • Inability to unwind or calm down
  • Easily distracted
  • Speech & language delay
  • Motor skills delay
  • Social interaction problems
  • Emotional difficulties

Sensory Integration Dysfunction can be a difficulty on its own, but often is observed in conjunction with other neurological and physiological conditions, including dyslexiadyspraxiaAsperger’s Syndromeautistic spectrum disorders, developmental disorders and speech delays.

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