Sensory Integration Techniques Top Methods for Therapists and Parents


Navigating the world of sensory processing can often seem a daunting endeavour, especially when it involves supporting a loved one or a client, But with the right understanding, tools, and techniques, sensory integration becomes a rewarding journey, filled with discovery, growth, and connection. This guide is tailored to offer both therapists and parents some of the most effective sensory integration techniques that have garnered positive outcomes over the years.

  1. Deep Pressure Activities

How It Helps: Deep pressure activities can offer a calming effect, especially for those who may become overstimulated or agitated easily.


Techniques to Try:


Weighted blankets: Offering a gentle, even pressure, they can be particularly useful during bedtime or moments of rest.

Firm hugs: A classic and comforting approach, a tight hug can provide instant relief.

Compression clothing: These can help throughout the day, offering consistent deep pressure.

  1. Vestibular Activities


How It Helps: These activities are fantastic for children who either seek movement or are hypersensitive to it. It aids in balancing the sensory system.


Techniques to Try:


Swinging: Whether it's on a traditional playground swing or a therapy-specific swing, this can be calming.

Spinning in an office chair: Controlled and safe, this can fulfill  the need for rotation.

Balance exercises: Simple tasks like standing on one foot or using a balance board can be effective.

  1. Tactile Exploration

How It Helps: It's essential for those who need to develop their tactile discrimination or those who seek tactile input.


Techniques to Try:


Sensory bins: Fill them with rice, beans, sand, or even water beads for varied tactile experiences.

Clay or play dough: Moulding and shaping can be both therapeutic and fun.

Textured pathways: Create paths with different materials like bubble wrap, felt, or even gravel.

  1. Auditory Input Techniques

How It Helps: For those sensitive to sounds or seeking auditory stimuli, these techniques can be beneficial.


Techniques to Try:


White noise machines: These can offer consistent sound, aiding in focus and calming by blocking out or reducing the negative impact of unexpected sounds.


Headphones: Noise-canceling ones can reduce auditory overload, and rhythmic music can be calming.


Singing and humming: These simple acts can often bring comfort and connection.


  1. Oral Sensory Activities

How It Helps: Particularly beneficial for those who seek oral stimulation, which is commonly seen in younger children.


Techniques to Try:


Chewable jewelry: Functional and fashionable, they provide a safe outlet for oral sensory needs.


Textured spoons or straws: These can offer varied tactile experiences during meals.


Blowing activities: Things like blowing bubbles or through a straw can be both fun and effective.

  1. Visual Input Techniques


How It Helps: Assisting those either overwhelmed or underwhelmed by visual stimuli.


Techniques to Try:


Dimmed environments: Reducing harsh lights can prevent overstimulation.

Visual schedules: Predictability can reduce anxiety and help in processing visual information.

Calming bottles: Filled with glitter or beads, they can be used for focus and relaxation




Sensory integration is a deeply personal experience, varying widely from one individual to the next. As therapists and parents, the goal isn’t to find a one-size-fits-all solution, but to embark on this journey armed with knowledge, empathy, and a toolkit of tried-and-tested techniques.


By fostering a supportive environment and utilising some of the techniques mentioned above, we can pave the way for more comfortable and rewarding sensory experiences. Remember, it’s the small adjustments and understandings, infused with love and care, that can make a profound difference.


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