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Sensory Integration and the Child

A. Jean Ayres

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Reviewer: Allison Martin

Sensory Integration and the Child was the first book written for parents and teachers about sensory integrative dysfunction and its treatment. For years, this was the only book available for parents about sensory dysfunction and it was not that easy to acquire. (Parents either borrowed this book from their child's therapist or friends or ordered it directly from the publisher.) It remains a wonderful resource for anyone seeking to learn more about sensory integration theory and practice.

Like many therapies in the early stages, this book claims a lot; however parents reading it can search out the parts that fit their child and experiences. It is very descriptive of the underlying theory and the practial application of sensory integration treatment.

If you want to learn about sensory integration from the founder of the movement - this is the book to get.

Quotes from the book:

"The child has trouble playing with other children, because they do not realize when they are causing him discomfort. Games like tag may bring him agony. The child reacts not only to actual touch, but also to the fear that someone might touch him. Being touched from behind or when one cannot anticipate the touch is especially threatening, and so making the tactilely defensive child wait in line with other children is just inviting an incident. His teacher then considers the problem to be "poor behavior" and does not notice that the child has a physical reason for behaving the way he does."

"Sensory integration occurs when a child spontaneously plans and executes a successful adaptive response to sensory input. As we described in the beginning of this chapter, the chil must participate actively with the environment to improve the organization of his nervous system. The drive "to do" must come from within the child, even though he has been unable "to do" successfully before. He must take each developmental step himself, even though development has been difficult for him in the past. The equipment used in sensory integrative therapy is designed to entice the child into activities that provide sensations that tend to organize young human brains."

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