Parent FAQ

Common terminology used by therapists explained:

Gravitational insecurity:

Gravitational Insecurity refers to an excessive fear of ordinary movement, being out of an upright position, or having one’s feet off the ground. This is commonly known as a ‘fear of heights’. Children with this fear are uncomfortable with gravity, and their reactions are out of proportion to any real danger that exists or to any postural deficits the child may have.


Somatodyspraxia is when a child has difficulties with forming motor ideas, planning motor actions and appears to be[U1]  very clumsy in executing motor tasks.  (Kramer P & Hinojosa J.) This disorder presents with poor processing of the tactile and proprioceptive senses.
Bilateral integration and sequencing disorder (BIS):
This is the neurological process of integrating the sensations from both body sides.  Thus the ability to co-ordinate both sides of the body during symmetrical, alternating or asymmetrical tasks/activities.  This disorder presents with poor processing of the vestibular and proprioceptive senses.


Laterality is the differential presentation of the different sensory and motor modalities, such as eyes, ears, hands/arms and feet/legs, whereby one side has become preferred for certain processing and output activities.

Sensory Modulation:

Sensory Modulation (SM) refers to the ability of the nervous system to regulate, organize and prioritize incoming sensory information, inhibiting or suppressing irrelevant information and prioritizing and helping the child to focus on relevant information.  A well-modulated nervous system adapts to changes in its environment, has a level of arousal and attention appropriate for the task blocks out the irrelevant information, attends to relevant stimulation and responds appropriately in direct proportion to the input.

Neurological Threshold:

Neurological threshold refers to the amount of stimuli required for a neuron or neural system to respond.  At one end of this continuum, thresholds are very high (that means it would take a lot of stimuli to meet the threshold and fire the neurons). At the other end of this continuum, thresholds are very low (this means it would take very little stimuli to meet the threshold and fire the neuron).

Tactile discrimination deficits:

This refers to the inability or difficulty with the understanding of qualities of touch, i.e. which parts of the body is touched in which sequence.  Tactile discrimination helps establish an imprint so that the orderly sequence of movement may be reproduced again and again.  It helps with the manipulation of tools in the hand and provides an internal model of the body to the person.


Proprioception arises from the active and passive changes in the length and tension of all muscles acting on the moving joint.  It is thus the feedback to the brain from the muscles and joints with regards to positioning in space and force of movement.  It is an important sense used in co-ordinating movements.

My child has ADHD. Will ASI® therapy help?
Although ADHD is not essentially a sensory integrative disorder, the two diagnoses often co-exist.  A trained sensory integration occupational therapist will be able to assist you in making the differentiation and recommend appropriate intervention.
My child has a Learning Difficulty.
How can ASI® therapy help?Learning difficulties often includes difficulty with organization of tasks, sustained attention, working memory, reading, writing and/or arithmetic.  These skills are based on the sequential and timeous processing of the visual, auditory and movement senses.  Ayres Sensory Integration ® therapy could be one modality used to assist these children in acquiring improved timing and sequencing of processing of the different sensory systems involved.
How does ASI® therapy help my child diagnosed with autism?
Children with autism often have a co-morbid diagnosis of a sensory modulation/integration disorder.  They are dis-regulated, moving from under arousal to over arousal very quickly.  There is often a difficulty with praxis. These aspects can be addressed using ASI® therapy.
What is the difference between my child’s playgroup sensory stimulation and ASI® therapy?
Sensory stimulation in playgroups is similar to what happens in typically developing children during play:  They are exposed to different sensations and their bodies register and process it in order to interact and play.  Ayres Sensory Integrative® therapy is a very specific therapeutic technique designed for a specific client to enable improved processing and regulation of specific sensations to enhance performance.
What is Developmental Coordination Disorder?