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Where do SI disorders come from? This is a question I often hear in the office when I talk to parents about their child's sensory difficulties. Parents often wonder if they were at fault or contributed to their own child's sensory processing disorder at some point, they wonder where it came from.


Research shows that about 10-15% of children in the population have a sensory integration disorder (according to C.S. Kranowitz)


It is not possible to clearly identify the causes of sensory processing disorders. However, there are predisposing factors for sensory integration disorders or so-called risk factors. These include, among others:


Risk factors 


Prenatal factors, i.e. foetal exposure to harmful substances (drugs, alcohol, nicotine, stimulants), high-risk pregnancies with complications, the need to lie in bed during pregnancy, serious infections during pregnancy, prolonged maternal stress and multiple pregnancies.


-Perinatal factors - these include, above all, preterm birth or birth more than 2 weeks after the due date, birth by caesarean section, but also birth with complications, prolonged, induced, medicalised birth, hypoxia during birth, low Apgar score, low birth weight, jaundice


-Hereditary factors - a child may inherit sensory integration disorder simply from his or her parents.


-Abnormal muscle tone.


-Delayed or missed steps in motor development (sitting, crawling, walking).


Difficulties with self-regulation in infancy - children who, among other things, cry a lot, have difficulty calming down and falling asleep, often wake up.


-Sensory deprivation - a situation when a child grows in the first years of life in an environment poor in stimuli stimulating sensory systems in a natural way, e.g. is little carried, cuddled, does not have the possibility of independent exploration of the environment, is restricted in movement.


Not all children at risk will have sensory integration disorders in the future, but each child needs careful observation in this direction. It is also good to take preventive measures, e.g. sensory games at home from an early age, which through stimulation of the senses will positively influence the development of a toddler.


Anna Chacińska

special educator, specialist in sensory integration