The process of behavior sensory integration (BSI) involves the development of a relationship between a child and his or her caregivers. As caregivers develop an understanding of their young patients’ needs, they become skilled at identifying the subtle signs that a child may be distressed. A diagnosis of autism can usually be made in less than twenty-four hours. A child with autism is unable to connect with others socially or even emotionally. Because so many children with autism are usually unable to communicate, social skills deficits are often considered to be indicative of autism.
Children with sensory integration disorders receive care and are frequently treated with a combination of medical, social, psychological, and behavioral techniques. The goal of therapy is to promote a sense of connection between caregiver and child. Often, these techniques are in place before the occurrence of autism, but they may have a role to play in the later stages of the disorder. This is because symptoms of autism often mimic early development deficiencies. If this is the case, then the inclusion of these developmental deficiencies can sometimes be enough to treat autism in the young. Thus, early intervention may lead to earlier and more efficient intervention.
Behavior therapy is designed to teach parents and caregivers how to read the signals that a child is feeling from sensory integration. This includes applying techniques such as structured teaching, modeling, and reinforcement. All of these elements can help parents and caregivers reduce the number of behaviors that are problematic.
Parents and caregivers need to learn how to monitor their young patients’ behavior. This is a relatively simple task. When they notice that a child is not communicating through a given activity, they can look for other signs. Some of the most common of these signs include: eye contact, smiling, eye contact when pointed at, pointing, averting their gaze, responding to commands and requests, and ignoring props (such as swings and balls).
There are many forms of sensory integration. Some of the most common techniques include structured teaching, group play, music, movement, and white noise. A structured teaching approach is usually the easiest way to incorporate sensory integration into a behavior plan for parents and caregivers. By using well-designed activities, music or movement, as well as the right sensory integration tools, the best results can often be seen in very little time.
While it is true that autism is not curable, it is also true that it rarely affects a child until he or she is approximately four years of age. From that point on, it is usually stable, although it does occasionally appear to increase with age. The majority of children with autism grow out of it and lead normal, healthy lives. For some, however, it never goes away. If you have a young child with autism and are concerned about it, you should consult your doctor. He will be able to advise you on what the best course of action is for your particular situation.
Behavior Sensory: Autism and Aspergers
Behavioral and sensory issues are frequently intertwined, complicated, and relevant to many pediatric practitioners who deal with children from early infancy through the teen years. “Sensation and Sensory: A Lifelong Companion” by Jean L. Twenge is an important addition to the large volume of text on developmental disorders in children, both at the developmental and neurological levels.
This volume provides research-based, individualized care for infants, toddlers, and young children with sensory processing disorders. Additionally, this book provides practical tips and information for distinguishing between generalized sensory-based behaviors and specific sensorineural-based behaviors, and for developing interventions for children with autism, Aspergers, or other sensororeception-related disorders.
Early sensory integration enables infants and toddlers to develop appropriate reactions to their environment. Babies’ sensitive nociceptors enable them to detect a touch, a sound, or a particular shape and size. Children with autism or Aspergers disorder lack this integrative process, so they fail to connect what they see or hear with an appropriate response.
Reading and watching television is a good example of sensory integration at work. When the infant watches and learns the names of objects, learns to match colors and shapes with their environments, and touches what he or she observes, he or she is practicing the fine motor skills that will come in handy later for picking up objects, following directions, or interacting with others.
Sensory integration at the neurological level extends beyond the visible world. Some people are “hard wired” for sensory integration. Others are less genetically wired and may not be able to process the wide variety of sensory inputs that enter their brains. Autism and Asperger’s disease are situations that usually cause significant sensory integration deficiencies. Thus, effective interventions for children with autism and Aspergers involve developing early skills and routines that facilitate proper sensory integration and encourage resilience to environmental factors that can affect behavior.