Sensory Processing

Sensory processing is the way our bodies take information in through our senses. We take in sensory information from the environment through our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands and feet and our brain is responsible for registering, organising and modulating all different kinds of sensations at the same time. We rely on our brain to be able to attend to important or relevant information and inhibit other irrelevant information. 

Sensory processing occurs over our entire life span and we are constantly engaging with our environment and exploring new opportunities. The most intense period of our sensory development occurs between 0-6 years of age. Most people are aware of the main five senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight) however there are actually 3 more. These include proprioception, vestibular and interoception. 

Children who have sensory processing challenges may present with:

  • High activity levels, always seeming to be ‘on the go’

  • Difficulty paying attention and staying on one particular task

  • Oversensitive to noises such as a vacuum or sirens

  • Avoid grooming tasks such as washing and cutting hair

  • Fussy with their eating

  • Missing instructions or not noticing when someone calls their name

  • Poor sleep patterns

  • Poor emotional and behavioural responses to sensory stimulation 

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