Sensory processing, is the ability to take in information through senses (touch, movement, smell, taste, vision, and hearing), to put it together with prior information, memories, and knowledge stored in the brain, and to make a meaningful response. Sensory processing disorder or sensory integrative dysfunction is a disorder in which sensory input is not integrated or organized appropriately in the brain and may produce varying degrees of problems in development, information processing, and behavior. PSTA offers an innovative approach to sensory processing and strives to maintain a team-based model where the child’s needs always come first!
What Is Sensory Processing? The three basic senses involved are: tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive
Tactile System: information such as light touch, pain, temperature, and pressure. A dysfunction in this system may present itself in the following ways:
– When being touched, a child will withdraw
– Refusing to eat certain foods or wear certain clothes
– Refusing to having his/her face or hair washed
– Avoiding use of his/her whole hand when manipulating objects
– Avoiding getting his/her hands dirty (i.e., glue, sand, dirt, paint)
– Hyper-sensitive – The child perceives light touch as painful
– Hyposensitive – The child does not perceive deep pressure
Vestibular System: information on the position of your head (tilted, upright or downward-even with your eyes closed). A dysfunction within this system may manifest itself in two different ways:
– Hypersensitive to vestibular stimulation – a child is afraid of swings, inclines, slides and climbing up ladders and/or stairs. This may result in the apprehension of walking or climbing on uneven surfaces. This child is often the “clumsy” child.
– Hyporeactive/Hyposensitive – This child will seek out constant movement, for example, excessive body spinning, jumping, running and crashing.
Proprioceptive System: This refers to components of muscles, joints, and tendons that provide a person with a subconscious awareness of body position. This allows a child to sit still on a chair or on the floor without constant movement. It also allows for fine motor manipulation of objects such as: holding utensils, writing with a pencil, drinking from a cup, and buttoning a shirt. A dysfunction in this system may present in the following ways:
– Falling on the floor
– Poor posture
– Minimal or no crawling
– Difficulty holding small objects
– Messy eater
– Poor awareness of where the child’s body is in space
– Poor motor planning skills
Please contact us at 720-542-8737 if you feel your child may present with a sensory dysfunction.
10 Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder
1. Decreased frustration tolerance
2. Excessive or extreme tantrums
3. Difficult controlling emotions
4. Resistant or avoidant of touch
5. Described as “on the go”
6. Sensitivities to sounds
7. Anxiety with new or unfamiliar events
8. Inattention or distractibility
9. Difficulty following directions
10. Difficulty falling and staying asleep