Sensory Integration

    Sensory Integration Therapy

    Sensory integration and approaches are used throughout the school, led by the Occupational Therapy Department. Find out more about Occupational Therapy at Queensmill School here. Queensmill Occupational Therapists have completed postgraduate training in Sensory Integration accredited by the University of Ulster and Sensory Integration Network.

    What is Sensory Integration?
    • Sensory Integration theory and intervention is based on neuroscience (scientific study of the nervous system). It is a process that we are all doing all of the time. It involves taking in information from the world around us through what we see, hear, feel, smell and taste and taking in information from our own bodies. All of this information needs to be organised, or processed, so that we can effectively carry out activities in our daily lives.
    • Sensory Integration supports physical development, social and emotional development and performance of purposeful activities.
    What is Sensory Integration Therapy?

    Sensory Integration is a type of therapy that mimics natural physical play and taps into the innate nature of the child to learn and grow. It takes place in a playful and motivating context involving activities such as crawling, climbing, jumping, crashing, rolling and swinging.

    Why Sensory Integration Therapy?

    Children with Autism have developmental delays in many areas, which may be attributed to underlying dysfunction in their sensory systems i.e. their ability to integrate sensory information. Research shows that:

    • 95% of children with Autism have sensory needs;
    • Sensory integration dysfunction is proven to cause delayed social skills, motor skills and difficulty with self-care;
    • Sensory integration dysfunction can also influence self-regulation, attention and arousal levels.

    Sensory Integration Intervention at Queensmill School follows best practice in current research by offering:

    • Long-term, holistic support with an overall goal of developing independence in meaningful activities;
    • Support to families to develop their understanding of the life-long needs of an individual with Autism;
    • Occupational Therapy intervention as part of a comprehensive programme of other behavioural, educational and medical services to support the wellbeing students and their families;
    • Recommendations of environmental and task adaptation to support children’s self-regulation;
    • Sensory equipment (e.g. ear defenders, weighted vests, therapy balls) for students to access in the classroom;
    • Close collaboration with teachers to ensure students are using sensory equipment appropriately and safely for their specific sensory needs;
    • A variety of training to all staff which is updated in line with recent evidence. These trainings are also offered to parents (e.g. An Introduction to Sensory Processing in ASD; Sensory Circuit Training);
    • Individual Ayres’ Sensory Integration sessions (following the Sensory Integration Fidelity Measure) delivered by Occupational Therapists with postgraduate level training.

    Follow these links for research on the efficacy of sensory integration intervention with children with autism:

    A Systematic Review of Ayres Sensory Integration

    An Intervention for Sensory Difficulties in Children with Autism

    Information on this page is adapted from the Sensory Integration Network. Visit the website for further information: