How to Determine if your Child has Sensory Integration Dysfunction

Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) is where a child can use their senses to collect information same as anyone else, but the perception of them is in some way skewed. The analysis of the information can often lead to confusion or even pain in the child, and it can be a very frightening experience, the world as this twisted nightmare, like a Picasso painting that just won’t stop…

This disorder can live on its own but it is often connected to other disorders, the most common being dyslexia. Unlike many conditions which need a medically licensed doctor to diagnose, this can be diagnosed by an occupational therapist. There is no known cure but there are many treatment options.

Sensory integration is the process of taking in information through the senses and then mentally correlating that with prior memories to arrive at a logical conclusion as to their meaning.

Some children with this disorder barely exhibit it. If it is obvious you would certainly know about it by now, and you should see a professional immediately. But when it is more subtle diagnosing it can be difficult.

What is their life like now? Are they having troubles in school or life? If not, then even if this disorder technically exists, there would be no point in treating it as it has no effect on the child’s life. Professionals speculate that many adults live with a mild form of this disorder… in a subjective world different ways of processing information only get noticed when they interfere.

You obviously suspect something or you would not be reading this. Most likely this stems from problems in school. The question now is whether your child is going poorly because of a lack of effort, a lack of ability, or this disorder. Many have said that the occupational therapists of the world are too quick to diagnose children who are merely apathetic toward schoolwork as having a serious disorder.

The key is to view how the child does with activities they enjoy that are challenging. Try to engage them in something fun yet complex and see how they process the information. If things come out confused, you are probably right in your suspicion.

While this is a serious disorder, the symptoms should be fairly obvious and easily spotted. A child with SID can be treated and reintegrated into society without losing a step. The key is to be observant and not jump to conclusions. And if you suspect something but cannot prove it, remember… it’s all subjective anyway.