The use of Ayres Sensory Integration beyond childhood

How can sensory integration be used to enhance the function and occupational performance of the adolescent, adult and elderly?

Perspective of an adult with Sensory Processing Difficulties

Reseach and evidence

Ayres Sensory Integration Beyond Childhood

by | Aug 15, 2022

Reseach and evidence

Chronic Schizophrenics (King, 1974; King, 1983; Alers, 1997) found that sensory integration is successful.

Dunn & Brown (2002)-BD & Schizophrenia-Adult/adolescent sensory profile.

Acute psychosis (Sabarre, 2007)-sensory integration is just as successful as other occupational therapy intervention.

The short term effect of sensory integration on the individual with characteristics of psychosis (Annandale, Van Jaarsveld, van Heerden, Nel, 2013).

Statistical significant improvement of communication, awareness of self, decrease in delusions and hallucinations and disorganized behaviour.

The incidence of sensory integration problems in individuals with psychosis (Annandale, Van Jaarsveld, Nel, 2013).

The individual with psychosis has poor processing in the vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems.

Reseach and evidence


– Dopamine hypothesis in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (Guyton&Hall,1996). Inhibiting function- inhibits more/less- sensory processing disorder.


– Serotonin- pain block, mood controlling and sleep- possibly sensory modulation disorder.

– Lithium- positive effect on growth of nerve endings and synapse formation- sensory processing disorder.


– Limbic system(amygdala, hippocampus, parrahippocampus gyrus) The controlling of emotions (Saddock & Saddock, 2007). Limbic and reticular area of the brain regulates CNS to regulate own activity-sensory modulation dysfunction in individuals with schizophrenia, BD, head injuries and strokes.

– Basal ganglia and cerebellum: plays an important role in movement. Dysfunction can cause abnormal and uncoordinated movements-sensory integration discrimination disorder (Alers, 1997). Undergoes cellular changes in schizophrenia, BD and  head injuries/strokes.

– Thalamus-filtrate and selection of the correct information to make appropriate response. Schizophrenics and BD find it difficult to filtrate information and react appropriately (Saddock & Saddock, 2007) –Sensory integration dysfunction. Head injuries and strokes.

– Prefrontal cortex -Motor planning and sequencing movements. Changes during Schizophrenia and BD (Saddock & Saddock,2007),  head injuries/ strokes.