RadioMD: Inherently You with Dr. Holly Lucille

Sensory Integration & Importance of Play

January 17, 201726 min
Your child's behavior issues may be a result of sensory integration problems. Play is key to improving the underlying cause.You can improve the future of many generations to come, simply by being a good parent. Examine your child’s roles. Your child is a student, peer, son or daughter, sibling, and team and community member. How well is your child functioning in those roles? You can help your child successfully fulfill each one. Sensory IntegrationSensory integration takes in all environmental stimuli, integrates them in the brain and acts upon them in the environment. There is also internal information from the gut and other systems in the body. The goal of sensory integration is to have the appropriate functional interaction with the environment after all of the information has been processed. Hyper responsiveness to normal environmental interaction can create behavior that looks quirky. The reactions don’t quite fit the situation. For example, some children are hypersensitive to touch and react with aggression when bumped at school. Importance of PlayPlay in the animal kingdom and for our ancestors was mimicry of adult behavior to learn survival skills. Running and jumping translated to better survival. Risk-taking and exploring helps integrate sensory systems. The sedentary, screen-based modern age has led to less development of sensory integration. It is important to encourage physical activity outdoors. It shouldn’t be about keeping your children occupied and quiet. Push for your child to explore and be active.Your child’s interaction with the environment is not a reflection of your parenting skills. If you feel a child’s behavior might be a symptom of something else, seek out a professional who might be able to see that behavior with perspective.Listen in as occupational therapist Allyson Chrystal joins Dr. Holly Lucille to discuss the importance of play and sensory integration.

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