Sensorimotor Program: What Is It? How Does It Help?

In the late 1970s, Pat Odgen noticed a connection between the human body and its psychological state, which prompted him to study psychotherapy. Trauma has been the most discussed topic when it comes to autism. Autism is a developmental disorder or a state of mind with symptoms like hesitation to interact, socially restricted behavioural instincts, and repetitive reactions. 

Sensorimotor Intensive Program is linked to the body and brain function to establish the cognitive growth of a child with autism. It is a specially curated psychotherapy treatment using modern brain-studying techniques designed to train children and adults for motor and sensory disabilities. 


What Is A Sensorimotor Intensive Program or Sensorimotor Psychotherapy? 

To understand more about the sensorimotor program, you must first learn what it involves and how it works. Two primary functions are interested in any human body- sensory and motor, each performing different functions. Sensory networks enable the body to process internal sensory information and integrate it. Motor networks, however, allow us to control our body movement with coordination. These are the two major things involved in sensorimotor therapy. 

Sensorimotor involves body-based therapy, integrating current findings from psychological theory and neuroscience to transform trauma and social fear into resourceful strengths for the client. Children with autism usually have sensory and motor disabilities, making sensorimotor therapy most suitable. It is a holistic approach to treating sensory disability and trauma by integrating body movements. The session involves traditional talk therapy to understand and heal the psychological and physical difficulties that a child or an adult might face. 

Here, the body, mind, and spirit are considered as whole rather than being separate parts. The clients’ body helps to understand the reactions to various sensory networks produced. The body’s behaviour to different stimuli helps analyze what is wrong with the mind; it helps to thoroughly address the symptoms like numbness, motor inabilities, and difficulties in relationships and general activity of life. The body is the main driver behind all the problems a person with an autism spectrum disorder faces. 

How Can It Help?

It has been observed that children with autism often struggle to connect the dots between sensory and motor movements. The sensory networks of children with such disabilities do not coordinate with the body’s motor ability. Sensorimotor therapy helps in healing emotions and helps to integrate thoughts and the physical body. It helps overcome any traumatic experiences faced by the child at any stage of life which hindered their development and growth. Most challenges faced by a child or an adult may result from some neurological deficiencies, which can impact the functioning of the mind and body in daily life. However, sensorimotor therapy is built in a way that treats all the mental and physical disabilities associated with autism and other trauma-related mental problems. 

The goals of this therapy are:

  • To reclaim a sense of control and coordination.
  • It helps to understand the impact of trauma, anxiety, and social disorder on the mind and body of the client to build a customized way of dealing with it. 
  • To develop a deeper understanding of the symptoms faced by the human mind, physical body, sensory network, and motor network. 
  • It also helps to separate the past from the present. It prepares the body for what is happening now rather than what was happening in the past. 

The goals usually help in the reduction of symptoms and stabilization in the body and mind of the client. While the program works with traumatic experiences, the body integrates to understand the senses and their responses to various situations. 


Opting for these sensorimotor programs is a wise decision as it is an integrated program built on the foundations of psychological theory and the study of neuroscience. It is a scientifically proven way of dealing with mental and physical trauma experienced by people having extreme autism.

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