We have five senses: Visual, Auditory, Gustatory, Tactile, and Smell. We also have Vestibular, our sense of movement and Proprioceptive Senses, which determines how we feel in relationship to space. Interoception is more about our internal organs and how they communicate with one another. Examples of this would be hunger or thirst. When all of these senses work together we call that sensory integration. When all of these senses do not work together we call that a sensory integration disorder.
Having differences in your sensory system can change not only how you see the world but how you feel it. It can affect how you hear the things around you or feel the things that touch you or that you touch. It can change how you taste the foods you smell or smell the foods you taste. Our vestibular sense can throw us off so much that we are unable to walk or feel as though we are floating off into space if our proprioceptive sense is affected. We may forget to eat if our Interoception is not in tune with what our body needs.
One or more of these things might pertain to sensory integration differences. Or maybe all of them do. More than likely the differences affect the other senses in some form. And the senses affect everything from our learned fine motor movements such as handwriting to large body motor movements such as riding a bike. It can also affect speech. The list goes on.
But there are methods that can be utilized and tools that can be used to help anyone with sensory differences to cope with that difference and learn ways to promote a positive nature in the way they experience the world.
You’ll find articles where I will mention movement quite often in the area of sensory integration. This is because movement is key in learning. Movement stimulates growth and calms the nervous system. It also aides in focus. It helps the person moving to focus on the task at hand. It can also promote the production of speech.
There is a wonderful book out there called Jean Ayres Sensory Integration and the Child. If you can manage to find a copy of it without spending a small fortune it is well worth a read. It explains everything I’ve mentioned above in elaborate detail. I will quite often refer to it.