Sensory Integration and Mental Health

Written by: Allison Levine

Could your child’s behavioral issues actually be problems with sensory integration?

Most people don’t ever think about the work our brains do to organize and interpret all of the sensory information going in—sight, sound, touch, body awareness, movement, gravity.  Most children develop this ability in the course of ordinary childhood activities.  But others encounter “traffic jams” in their brains which lead to sensory integration issues.  
Children who experience difficulties with learning, memory, attention and retention can benefit from focusing on their sensory needs and preferences.  Children with sensory integration issues may exhibit these types of behaviors:
  • Easily distracted
  • Impulsive
  • Extremely high or low activity levels
  • Overly sensitive to touch, sights or sounds
  • Difficulty with transitions
  • Unable to calm themselves
For some, managing sensory needs may lead to fewer needs for medications and increasing gains from therapy.   For others, focusing on sensory integration can help them be more productive, effective and efficient at school.  When it comes to parenting, sensory issues are often misunderstood, mislabeled, and sometimes even medicated, leading parents to feel frustrated, ineffective, and confused.  
Learn more about sensory integration:
  • Understand what sensory integration is all about…and what it isn’t!
  • Learn about your own sensory profile, and how to briefly assess it in others
  • Incorporate sensory smart parenting techniques for home and school
  • Understand how sensory needs relate to various mental health concerns and treatments
The Theraplay Institute is located at 1840 Oak Ave, Suite 320, Evanston, IL, 60201.  To learn more about Theraplay, visit, join us on Facebook, or contact Allison Levine, Clinical Coordinator at The Theraplay Institute at 847.256.7334 or at
Join us for an educational and experiential Parent Workshop on Monday, February 18, 2013 from 6:00-8:00pm. Tracy Muklewicz, MS Ed, NCC, LCPC, Therapist at The Theraplay Institute will be presenting. The cost is $25 per person and space is limited. You can register by calling Janet Koestring at 847.256.7334 or on the web by clicking HERE.  
Posted on February 08, 2013 at 12:05 PM