Sensory Processing/Integration Skills
- Sensory processing and integration is the ability of a child to correctly interpret sensory information in their environment and react to it in a consistent and appropriate way.
- Similar to the 5 senses; there are a total of 7 different types of sensory stimuli, including:
- Proprioceptive: Sensation of the muscles that allow for body awareness. It is obtained by lifting, pushing and pulling heavy objects; including the weight of your own body.
- Touch: Ability to detect light touch, deep pressure, texture, temperature, vibration, and pain.
- Visual: Visual input can be over-simulating for a child. Simplifying what they see at home or at school can create a soothing effect which can improve their ability to organize and understand what they see. Limiting / eliminating video games, cell phones and television are essential.
- Auditory: This is the interpretation of both what we hear and how we hear. This is also often connected to the vestibular system (see description below).
- Vestibular: The sense of movement, which is located in the inner ear, is stimulated by any kind of movement.
- Olfactory/Taste: The sense of smell and taste that comes through the nose or mouth and goes directly to the most emotional part of the brain.
- Oral Motor: The muscles of the mouth used to chew, crunch, and sucking can soothe a child, improve their attention, and help them become more organized. It can also improve awareness within the mouth of a child, which can help with the development of speech sounds and handling of food for chewing and swallowing