SENSORY PROCESSING ABILITIES
Our Sensory processing (SP) refers to the way our nervous system receives, processes and responds to information from our senses. SP abilities have significant impact on our ability to process, store and retrieve new learning. There are 8 sensory systems.
- Olfactory (smell) System
- Gustatory (taste) System
- Tactile System
- Vestibular (awareness of body and movement in space) System
- Proprioceptive (senses from muscles and joints) System
- Interoception (sensations related to internal organs i.e., sense of thirst, hunger and toileting needs)
SP abilities provide the foundation for learning and higher cognitive functions such as, attention & concentration, working memory, emotional and self-regulation, self –monitoring, planning and organization skills. There are three subtypes of sensory processing abilities:
- Sensory Modulation
- Sensory-Based Motor
- Sensory Discrimination
Signs and Symptoms
Children may exhibit some but not all of the following; poor concentration and attention, disorganized behavior, over or under responses to touch, sound, lights, movement, scents, tastes/ textures. Poor body awareness, spatial awareness, posture, control of moment, ability to grade force (for pressure in printing, hugs, touches, high fives, or throwing a ball), difficulty filter background noise to hear, difficulty distinguishing different sounds, inability to find object in a cluttered drawer or desk, difficulty discriminating soft and hard touch, difficulty discriminating between tastes and textures.
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