Sensory processing is how we take in information from the environment and our bodies, make sense of it and use it appropriately. This integration allows us to know where we are and respond appropriately to sensory input. Sensory processing is a foundation for participation in school activities and activities of daily living.
We all have sensory preferences as to types of things we like and dislike, e.g. some people love loud music while others dislike it. When a child has difficulties processing sensory information, they may under or over respond to any of the seven senses. This can make it difficult for them to concentrate and participate in new activities or develop skills because they don’t know how to respond to their environment.
Can you imagine the label on a jumper feeling like a spiky cactus? Or having to fidget and move constantly to get a sense of where your body is? Or feeling anxious waiting for the school bell to ring every day because the sound hurts your ears? These are examples of how sensory information can be confusing for children who have difficulties interpreting sensory input.
Children who have sensory processing difficulties don’t have control over how they feel or respond to sensory input. This can then stop them from doing certain activities, which can affect their skill development and affect their ability to concentrate.
We take in information from seven systems and children with who have difficulties processing sensory information may have difficulties in one system or several.
Please see the sensory strategies leaflet for further information on each system and some useful strategies.
Occupational Therapy Department
Please ensure that adult supervision is given when completing these activities.