Therapy of Sensory Integration Disorders in Pre-School and Early School-Age Children (Based on the Results of Pilot Experimental Studies)
Keywordssensory integration, sensory integration disorder therapy, sensory footbridges
The concept of sensory integration, developed by Jean Ayres, is currently receiving considerable attention among specialists working with children experiencing developmental problems resulting from sensory integration disorders. Developmental problems arising from sensory integration disorders are exemplified, among others, in the acquisition of skills and abilities necessary for proper functioning, including those related to cognitive development and education. Therefore, during the course of the pilot experimental studies, presented in this article, an attempt was made to establish the effectiveness of plastic footbridges and those made with natural materials on the sensory integration therapy in pre-school and early school-age children. The studies concentrated on selected aspects of children’s functioning, including tactile performance of feet, motor coordination of the hands and legs with regard to gross motor skills, motor coordination of the hands with regard to fine motor skills, fitness and ability to maintain body balance. The research was carried out in four experimental groups: the first two groups included children of early school age with and without sensory integration disorders, and the other two included pre-school and early school-age children with deeper intellectual disabilities and sensory integration disorders. The two experimental groups carried out a series of five therapeutic classes using plastic footbridges, while two others used footbridges made of natural materials. The obtained data allowed a preliminary conclusion to be formulated about the superiority of footbridges made of natural materials over plastic footbridges in the context of effective influence on the therapy of sensory integration disorders in the examined children. However, it is necessary to continue research in more numerous groups and with a larger number of therapeutic classes.
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