What are IS disorders?

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What are IS disorders?


Playing baby

More than one parent has probably heard of IS disorders. What are IS disorders? How can they be diagnosed? Are they a cause for concern?


An ISdisorder is actually a sensory integration dysfunction, a condition where there is a problem with the correct perception and processing of external stimuli.

Sensory integration, which can be impaired in children diagnosed with IS, is the totality of processes that are responsible for receiving and processing stimuli from the environment. When the brain receives signals (stimuli) from other organs (sight, hearing or touch), it recognises the signal, "segregates" it in a certain way and attributes it, for example, to previous experiences. Such an action is called an adaptive response. With sensory integration, the brain thus receives information from all sensory systems, so that it can in some way 'integrate' them with previous experiences. Sensory integration develops in stages and can be traced back to fetal life. It is during this period that the child begins to perceive the first sound signals and associates the delivery of a 'shot' of glucose from the mother's blood with something pleasant. In children of foetal age, eye movements are observed. With the next stages, after birth, the child develops body motor skills, posture, auditory and visual perception, motor coordination, the speech apparatus or the use of the hand to hold a crayon. .

What is the theory of sensory integration, or IS?

The theory of sensory integration is based on several foundations that work together to ensure harmonious development:

  • neural plasticity,
  • sequential development of social integration processes,
  • the integrity of the nervous system,
  • adaptive responses,
  • developmental momentum.

How do disorders manifest themselves?

Sensory disorders can be divided into three main categories:

  • sensorymodulation problems - e.g. over-reactivity, under-reactivity. The child may avoid touching and being touched, react harshly to certain clothing textures or food. A sub-reactive child often drops objects and may not want to play with toys. Sensory sensation-seeking children often chew on objects, rub against walls,
  • sensorydiscrimination problems - hyporeactive children often sickle, dislike movement. Subreactive children are poor at protecting themselves from falling, they seem to pay no attention to whether they have fallen or not. Sensory-seeking children are constantly on the move - they seem to be fidgety, everywhere they go, unable to sit still,

Play, children, photo: panthermedia

  • sensorymotor problems - hyper-reactive children appear stiff and poorly coordinated. Under-reactive children are slow, the form of activity that dominates in them is pulling, lifting. Sensory sensation-seeking children even "push" for cuddling, touching.