Occupational therapy is a person-centered health profession that aims to improve health and well-being through meaningful and purposeful activities and includes many therapy strategies. Pediatric occupational therapists are specialists in the therapy process for children and infants.

Occupational Therapy And Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy / Ep. Sinem Altin Demirbag (Occupational Therapy)
Health Tourism
26 March 2023
Reading Time: 9 Minute

Occupational Therapy and Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy

Occupational therapy is a person-centered health profession that aims to improve health and well-being through meaningful and purposeful activities and includes many therapy strategies. Pediatric occupational therapists are specialists in the therapy process for children and infants. They work to encourage, protect and develop the skills necessary for their clients to be functional in the home, school and family environment.

Occupational therapists work with the aim of ensuring that both normally developing (healthy) children and children with special needs participate in daily life activities, roles and responsibilities with maximum independence.

Occupational therapy is a therapy process that progresses quickly, effectively and pleasantly, thanks to the therapeutic games taught to the family and transferred to the home. Thanks to the teachability of the therapy process to families, the therapy process is supported in the home environment and it is much faster and easier for the child to transfer current gains to daily life.

As occupational therapists, we apply a therapy program in which we use scientific evidence-based strategies by evaluating the child in sensory, motor (fine-gross motor), cognitive, psychosocial aspects during the therapy process.

In this article, I will talk about Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy, which is an evidence-based therapy method that I am a practitioner.


Sensory Integration Therapy

By nature, human beings constantly experience their environment and interpret the sensory information they receive from their environment. The senses from which this information comes from are:

  • * Sense of sight
  • * Sense of hearing
  • * Sense of touch
  • * Sense of bite
  • * Sense of smell
  • * Vestibular Sense
  • * Sense of Proprioception

These seven senses provide information about the individual's own body and environment. This process in which sensory information from the brain is organized and interpreted is called Sensory Integration.

The first 7 years of life is the period of rapid sensory integration. In most children, the sensory integration process develops through typical childhood experiences. With these sensory experiences, children develop the steps of interpreting the sensory input, adjusting and creating appropriate responses. For example, children; They gain information about the position of their bodies in space through activities such as running, swinging and rolling. This acquisition and knowledge facilitates the sensory processes in their activities, roles and responsibilities in their daily lives.

These processes do not go well for some children. The ability to organize sensory information does not develop as it should. Problems seen in one or more of the steps of children's interpretation of sensory input, adjustment and appropriate response indicate that there is a problem in the sensory integration process in the child. This problem is often described as sensory integration disorder or sensory processing disorder.


How to Understand Sensory Integration Problems in Children's Daily Lives?

We may see one or more of the following problems in children with sensory processing disorders.

  • * Delay in motor skills
  • * Difficulties with self-regulation
  • * Attention and focus problems
  • * Nutritional problems
  • * Being uncomfortable with the labels of the clothes, being wet and dirty
  • * Desire to touch different textures
  • * Establishing routines and not being able to go out of routines, displaying routine-obsessed behaviors
  • * Being disturbed by different smells
  • * Writing problems,
  • * Difficulties in personal care (not being able to take a bath, difficulty in toilet training, inability to create care routines)
  • * Inability to stay at the desk during activities and lessons that should be spent at the desk
  • * Problems in social life (excessive sociability or social avoidance)
  • * Weakness in body awareness
  • * Failure in ball games, clumsiness
  • * Failure and refusal to accept failure in competition and group activities
  • * Needing verbal or physical support in daily life responsibilities (requesting support during dressing and undressing)
  • * Being disturbed by loud sounds or making loud noises
  • * Vehicle motion sickness
  • * Movement insecurity (such as experiencing anxiety when going down stairs)
  • * Constant bumping, clumsiness
  • * Weakness in playing, setting up and maintaining games


Such sensory problems can manifest themselves in everyday life.

With the occupational therapists in our team, we create a therapy program on the root cause of the problem by determining which disorder occurs in the sensory integration systems of these problems and taking into account the symptoms. Thus, instead of only working on the symptoms and ignoring or missing other possible symptoms, we work directly to prevent all possible symptoms by solving the cause.

The sensory integration therapy process basically takes place with the evaluation of seven sensory systems.

Ayres Sensory Integration Therapists in our team perform tests that compare children with the test data range that are considered normal according to their peers, such as the internationally valid Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), Sensory Processing Scale (SPM), Dunn Sensory Profile Test, to create the roadmap for the therapy process. Thanks to these tests, children's strengths and weaknesses that need to be developed are determined with clear data compared to their peers.

In order to carry out the therapy program in a way that the child will enjoy, we identify the child's strengths and present the aspects that need to be developed in a program that we support by interspersing these strengths. Therapy is revised by regularly assessing the child's progress.

Our team continues the therapy process at home with homework-home programs and video follow-ups.

Thus, children overcome sensory integration problems that cause difficulties in their daily lives and reduce their well-being with their occupational therapists and families.

Benefit from experts who guide our children to hold on to life and overcome obstacles. With the distribution of tasks we will do together with you, we will not only complete the missing aspects of our children, but also discover their talents and perhaps open new paths in their careers.

All our children, who are the assurance of our future, are special.


Sinem Altin DEMIRBAG

Occupational therapist / Physiotherapist

Ayres Sensory Integration Therapist

DIR Floortime 201 Therapist




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