Are you wondering if your child is a sensory seeker? Children who have sensory processing difficulties may move around a lot, which can get them into trouble. But the reason they never seem to slow down is because their bodies are telling them they need to move, move, move!
Essentially, sensory input describes anything that can be perceived using your senses! Sensory input describes the response in a sensory organ (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin) when it receives stimuli. The definition of sensory input is “the stimulation of a sense organ, causing a nerve impulse to travel to its appropriate destination in the brain or spinal cord.”
Children have a variety of sensory needs! Some children can be more sensitive to certain sensory experiences, whereas other children have higher thresholds and require more sensory input to register the sensory information. Sensory seeking behaviors typically include poor balance, coordination, and awareness of their body in space. Kids with sensory challenges or a sensory seeking disorder may also have decreased awareness of vestibular and/or proprioceptive input.
To compensate for this, sensory seeking children will often seek out lots of sensory input to give their bodies more feedback to these systems.
They’ll do this by jumping, spinning, swinging, crashing, squishing and other movements. Other sensory seeking behaviors include trying to touch everything in their environment or running into/bumping into objects or people in their environment.
Sensory processing is the way your body takes in sensory information from the world and interprets this information in the brain, to respond. Our bodies are constantly receiving sensory input, processing it, and adjusting our responses, without us even realizing it is happening! The way sensory input is perceived and responded to varies from child to child. Sometimes sensory information goes to the brain but there is difficulty in organizing it to produce the appropriate responses.
Providing sensory-rich experiences is integral in helping your little one to make sense of and interact with the world around them. The sensory seeking activities listed below and in the video will help organize toddlers or children who are constantly wanting to move their bodies!
In this video below, NAPA occupational therapist Erin shares some sensory seeking activities to help organize our sensory seekers throughout the day.
Eyes and Ears and Mouth and Nose – from your head, shoulders to your knees and toes, most of us are familiar with the 5 senses:
But did you know we actually have two other systems!?
At NAPA Center, we take an individualized approach to pediatric therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. We embrace differences with an understanding that individualized programs work better. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike. If your child needs services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customized program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.