Imagine an infant just a few days old being placed in a dark room. No light, no sounds, no smell, nothing to touch, nothing to eat. Now, think to yourself, if given the basic means of survival, will this infant be able to develop properly without the sensory experiences that a normal infant would?
Infants need sound to be able to develop language, touch to develop movement, taste and smell to develop preferences. Combinations of these senses are used in every single part of normal development. Without normal development in one sense all of the other senses are at a disadvantage.
Now imagine an infant in a room full of toys that squeak, music that has repetition, textures of teddy bears and rugs, the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. Which child will develop at a normal rate? The infant in the dark room with no sensory stimulation or the one in the room with lots of sights, sounds, textures, toys to put in their mouths and the smell of cookies baking?
Sensory integration is what we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. It gives us information to figure out what is going on around us and about ourselves. It helps us understand what is going on around us. If we compare ourselves to a computer, our brain in the central processing unit that receives, organizes, and sends messages to the rest of the body. Our brain helps us to pay attention to, ignore, seek out or avoid sensations. We need this to maintain or increase our feelings of comfort, excitement, rest, and positive interaction with objects and people (Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Issues, p1).
I know I’d rather be in the room with the smell of chocolate chip cookies. How about you??
To be continued…
Look for part two next month.