The use of Ayres Sensory Integration in mental health settings

How can sensory integration be used to enhance the function and occupational performance of the adult in mental health?

Sensory integration processing and pathology

Praxis dysfunction presents with:

Postural problems

Affected motor planning

Affected muscle tone  (hypotonia)

Poor bilateral integration

Poor coordination and sensory discrimination (Bundy & Murray, 2002).

Sensory modulation disorders presents with:

Aversion response

Gravitational insecurity

Defensive behaviour

Change in tactile, visual and auditory responses

More or less distractibility

Disorganized behaviour

Poor motivation

Inappropriate emotional responses (Bundy & Murray, 2002).

Research suggests that people with schizophrenia have (Alers, 1997):

Affected perceptual ability

Poor awareness of self

Poor motor planning and praxis

Poor physical endurance

Poor postural patterns

Individuals with traumatic head injuries and strokes present with:

  • Poor motor planning and praxis
  • Poor sequencing of activities
  • Visual-perceptual difficulties
  • Changes in muscle tone (? Sensory integration)
  • Poor physical endurance
  • Poor posture

When to refer to Occupational Therapy

  • Psychosis and chronic phase of mental illness
  • ID, Autism and ADHD
  • MDD and Anxiety
  • Possible signs: pacing, wringing of hands, biting, self-injurous taking clothes off or tearing clothes
  • Work related stressors, IPR and marital stressors