Sensory Integration | MAES Therapy | Neuro-Developmental Therapy & Early Intervention


What is SI? It is a term unique to Occupational Therapy. It is the organisation of all our sensations, for use in our lives. Smell, touch, taste, see, hear, make up the five senses. A sixth is our sense of movement and balance, with a seventh being our sense of inner body awareness.

A person with Sensory Processing Disorder – i.e. when SI is not happening – finds it difficult to effectively process and act upon the information received through the seven senses. This results in challenges in performing many everyday activities both at home, at school and at work for affected adults. Such a person may be said to respond inappropriately or in an unacceptable fashion.

Good sensory awareness is the foundation upon which all other skills develop – from gross and fine motor skills, to thinking, perception, emotional and self-help skills. Sensory Processing Disorder occurs when a child or adult’s sensory experience leads to inappropriate or unacceptable responses.

SI therapy often focuses on the development of underlying skills required in order to complete certain tasks or activities. Sensory Integration issues, although prevalent in all age groups, tends to be more acute in young children.


As occupational therapists using a Sensory Integrative approach, we guide your children through activities that challenge their ability to respond appropriately to sensory input, by making successful, organized responses. Here is a list of possible symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder:


We, as Marli Smit Occupational Therapists, are one of a select group of MAES Therapy providers in South Africa. Movement Analysis & Education Strategies (MAES) Therapy is ‘an early intervention and treatment framework for babies and children with movement and coordination difficulties and developmental delays caused by a variety of neurological conditions, for example: cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy and acquired head injury.’ (Source:


View a list of easily recognizable
neurological symptoms here:


‘We look closely at your child’s movement. Not just if they move, but the quality of movement based on our experience. We look for the specific reasons preventing your child doing what they want to do and identify other issues you may be unaware of. Your therapist may ask a colleague to assist e.g. your physio may bring in an occupational therapist to improve small tasks and develop fine motor skills. Similarly, a speech therapist can help if the muscles that form words are affected.

Parent/carer involvement is an essential part of the therapy process and you will be involved throughout. This gives you plenty of time to discuss particular issues and ask questions …

Play forms an important part of Bobath therapy. Sessions are fun and our therapy rooms are full with toys and books.’ (Source:


Your child’s baby and toddler years are critical for brain development, also when the child is delayed or restricted in development. Marli Smit Occupational Therapists can help through early intervention occupational therapy, to help your child flourish.


  • Inappropriate play with toys
  • Inability to relate to others
  • Hyperactivity or passiveness
  • Oversensitive or under sensitive to sound
  • Difficulty dealing with changes to routine
  • Lack of awareness of danger
  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back and forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months
  • Struggling to get potty trained
  • Do not want to eat finger food and solid foods
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Delayed developmental milestones such as sitting, crawling and walking