Sensory Integration Technique
Sensory integration was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Jean Ayres, an occupation therapist and psychologist in the United States of America. The theory is used to explains why individuals respond in a certain way to sensory input and how it affects learning and behaviour.
Wilbarger Brushing Protocol
The Wilbarger Protocol is often used as a part of a sensory integration program. It involves brushing the body with a small surgical brush throughout the day. Children who exhibit symptoms of tactile defensiveness are extremely sensitive to touch. They often fear or resist being touched, have difficulty transitioning between activities, and may be lethargic. This therapy was developed by Patricia Wilbarger, MEd, OTR, FAOTA.
The complete protocol usually takes 2-3 minutes to administer. The first step involves using a soft, plastic, sensory brush which is run over the child's skin, using very firm pressure; it is like a deep pressure massage. Brushing starts at the arms and works down to the feet. The face, chest, and stomach area are never brushed because these are very sensitive areas.