Multisensory stimulation

Children with autism often have trouble with sensory integration, which can be the root cause of problems in development, information processing, and behaviour.  They have difficulty making connections between their tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensory systems, any of which can be overactive or not active enough as a child interacts with his or her environment.  Their brains react differently than expected when given sensory input, either failing to integrate or organize new information appropriately. Multi-sensory stimulation can help to enhance concentration, attention, and alertness in autistic children who are typically distracted. Optical, acoustic, olfactory and tactile stimuli help hyperactive individuals learn how to direct their focus, and how to deal with real-life encounters in a healthy way. You can help your child to heighten their awareness of their surroundings, which can improve behavior both at school and at home.

Multisensory auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular stimulation consisted of directly talking to the infant in a warm, soothing voice (auditory stimulation) while providing skin-to-skin contact through massage (tactile stimulation), and making as much direct eye contact as possible (visual stimulation) followed by horizontal rocking (vestibular stimulation).


Multisensory auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular stimulation has also been studied in healthy infants to reduce stress levels. Stress directly affects brain development starting during gestation and continues to have an effect as the brain develops during the critical first three years of life.

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