How We Work
Here at Senara, we are proud members of the Sensory Integration Network (UK & Ireland), which is the main organisation that supports Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy in the UK.
We believe that Sensory Integration (SI) is one of the best ways to support childhood development.
Sensory experiences include how our bodies respond to touch, movement, sight, taste etc.
How our brains understand this information is sensory integration.
Sensory difficulties can often run alongside other diagnoses such as Autism, ADSD, Regulatory Disorder and Developmental Coordination Disorder.
Dr A. Jean Ayres
You might hear us talk quite a bit about Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy.
Dr Ayres is a bit of a hero of ours. She was the pioneer behind sensory integration and has helped shape the practice of assessment and treatment of children with sensory processing difficulties.
Why is Sensory Integration So Important?
SI is a brain process we all share and encompasses both the senses we are aware of (hearing, sight, touch etc.) and the hidden senses (movement or vestibular and body position or proprioception). These hidden senses help us regulate our nervous system and are the foundation of controlled movement, activity and learning.
Throughout childhood, children learn to process information over a period of years. It is complex, and a child's sensory processing needs are often a mixture of over and under sensitivities.
Common sensory processing problems can include sensitivity to noise or touch, which can trigger a fight or flight response as the nervous system struggles to cope.
How Can We Support Sensory Development?
Children respond in different ways to sensory stimuli. Winnie Dunn's model of Sensory Processing (2006) discusses four sensory processing patterns common in children, which we have summarised below:
Children often benefit from a "Sensory Diet" of activities throughout the day to regulate their central nervous system and quieten sensory stimuli. This, in turn, helps to boost attention and concentration.
The Importance of Play
At Senara, we believe that assessment and treatment should be child-led.
We believe that a child should have fun; playing on the trampoline, playing tug-of-war, using a scooter board or hanging from bars, yoga, massage, sensory toys... all of these are amazing ways for children to learn to control the sensory input they receive.
We observe and monitor the child to see what helps and what doesn't and tailor activities to the child's age, needs and likes!
We hope that this has given you a little insight into the theory behind Senara.
For more information about some of the specific assessment processes we use, please read our blog.
And remember, if you have any other questions or queries, don't hesitate to get in touch.