ADD / ADHD, Auditory, Science, Visual

Sensory Integration and ADHD

Sensory Integration refers to the hyper or hypo sensitivity to light, sound, touch etc that is especially common in autistic children (Sensory Integration Dysfunction). As a treatment method, sufferers are exposed to gentle stimulation of the senses in a process of systematic desensitization.
Medical News Today is carrying a story about a study that used sensory integration methods with ADHD suffers.
‘Many children with ADHD also suffer from sensory processing disorder, a neurological underpinning that contributes to their ability to pay attention or focus,’ explained Koenig. ‘They either withdraw from or seek out sensory stimulation like movement, sound, light and touch. This translates into troublesome behaviors at school and home… …Therapy techniques appeal to the three basic sensory systems: The tactile system controls the sense of touch, the vestibular system controls sensations of gravity and movement, and the proprioceptive system regulates the awareness of the body in space. Therapy is tailored to each child’s needs and can involve such techniques as lightly or deeply brushing the skin, moving on swings or working with an exercise ball.
‘We found significant improvement in sensory avoiding behaviors, tactile sensitivity, and visual auditory sensitivity in the group that received treatment,’ said Koenig. ‘The children were more at ease. They could better attend to a lesson in a noisy classroom, or more comfortably participate in family activities,’ said Kinnealey. ‘The behavior associated with ADHD was significantly reduced following the intervention.’

The text of the study, Comparative Outcomes of Children with ADHD: Treatment Versus Delayed Treatment Control Condition, is not yet available.


  1. Jen

    Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske is a very useful guide for understanding SI theory and more importantly, applying it to help kids with sensory issues at home and at school.

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