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What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?


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Dysfunction of Sensory Integration (DSI) is a neurological disability in which the brain is unable to accurately process the information coming in from the senses. Individuals may be oversensitive to some sensations, wildly overreacting to touch or movement or loss of balance; undersensitive to some sensations, needing crashing or banging or sharp sounds and flavors to register anything; or a combination of both. Sensory integration problems can affect the five traditional senses -- particularly touch and hearing, but also taste, sight and smell -- as well as two additional senses: the vestibular sense, which tells us where our body is in space, and the proprioceptive sense, which tells us what position our body is in. Children with Dysfunction of Sensory Integration may appear hyperactive, oppositional, obsessive-compulsive, or attachment disordered, when in fact they are just reacting to and compensating for their unreliable and unpredictable view of the world. Sensory integration therapy, performed by occupational therapists, can in some cases eliminate sensory integration problems, and in other cases teach individuals how to cope with those problems in a less disruptive way.

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Also Known As: Sensory Integration Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory processing problems

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