Sensory Integration

    Sensory Integration Therapy

    Sensory integration theory and intervention approaches are used throughout the school, led by the Occupational Therapy Department. Find out more about Occupational Therapy at The Queensmill Trust here. Many of the Queensmill Trust Occupational Therapists have completed accredited postgraduate training in Sensory Integration.

    What is Sensory Integration?
    • Sensory Integration theory and intervention is based on neuroscience (scientific study of the nervous system). Sensory integration is a process that we are all doing all of the time. It involves taking in information from the world around us through what we see, hear, feel, smell and taste and taking in information from our own bodies. All of this information needs to be organised, or processed, so that we can effectively carry out activities in our daily lives.
    • Sensory Integration supports physical development, social and emotional development and performance of purposeful activities.
    What is Sensory Integration Therapy?

    Sensory Integration is a type of therapy that mimics natural physical play and taps into the innate nature of the child to learn and grow. It takes place in a playful and motivating context involving activities such as crawling, climbing, jumping, crashing, rolling and swinging.

    Why Sensory Integration Therapy?

    Some of the challenges autistic children experience can be linked to their ability to integrate sensory information. Research shows that:

    • 95% of children with Autism have sensory needs;
    • Challenges with sensory integration are linked with delayed social skills, motor skills and difficulties with activities such as self-care.
    • The ability to integrate sensory information can also influence self-regulation, attention and arousal levels.

    Sensory Integration Intervention at Kensington Queensmill School follows best practice in current research by offering:

    • Long-term, holistic support with an overall goal of developing independence in meaningful activities;
    • Support to families to develop their understanding of the life-long needs of autistic children and young people;
    • Occupational Therapy intervention as part of a comprehensive programme of other services to support the wellbeing students and their families;
    • Recommendations of environmental and task adaptation to support children’s self-regulation;
    • Sensory equipment (e.g. ear defenders, weighted vests, therapy balls) for students to access in the classroom;
    • Close collaboration with teachers to ensure students are using sensory equipment appropriately and safely for their specific sensory needs;
    • A variety of training to all staff which is updated in line with recent evidence. These trainings are also offered to parents;
    • For key identified students: individual Ayres’ Sensory Integration sessions (following the Sensory Integration Fidelity Measure) delivered by Occupational Therapists with postgraduate level training.

    Follow these links for research on the efficacy of sensory integration intervention with autistic children:

    A Systematic Review of Ayres Sensory Integration

    An Intervention for Sensory Difficulties in Children with Autism

    Information on this page is adapted from the Sensory Integration Network. Visit the website for further information: