Sensory Issues in Young Children A Video Series by Pathways.org #1
Understanding the Senses: Do You Know There Are More Than 5?
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Watch this video to gain an understanding of sensory integration. This video uses animation to provide information about: the 7 senses, how individuals use sensory information, and possible signs of sensory integration issues. Visit http://www.pathways.org for more information, including a sensory integration checklist useful for checking any possible sensory issues in children. (Sensory integration issues can be addressed through occupational therapy.)
If you think your child may have a sensory processing disorder, please ask your pediatrician to recommend your child to an occupational therapist for a sensory integration evaluation. Then find out if your child may benefit from sensory integration therapy. The sooner the better!
Most people know about five of our senses... sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
Each of these senses brings us important information.
For example, touch helps you to know the difference between the feel of a bug crawling on your arm and the feeling of a friend tapping you on the shoulder.
There are also two other senses that are very important.
Our sense of balance and movement, which comes from our vestibular system.
This sense helps us move our body without falling, so we can do activities like walking, riding a bicycle, or even sitting correctly at a desk.
It is also the sense that lets you know that you are moving very fast on a roller coaster, even if your eyes are closed.
We also get important information from our body position sense, or proprioception.
This sense gives you information about the position of your body parts without having to look at them.
It helps you do activities like walking up stairs without having to look down at your feet.
This sense also tells you how much force to usewhen doing things like picking up and cracking open an egg.
Putting together information from all of these senses makes it possible for us to participate in everyday activities.
By integrating, or combining all the information we get from our senses, we can 'make sense' of the world around us and successfully move through and interact in our world.
Most tasks involve a number of our senses working together.
For example, when playing baseball, you need your sense of body position to know how you are standing and the position of your arms holding the bat.
You need your sense of touch to grip and move the bat correctly in your hands.
Your sense of vision lets you follow the ball with your eyes and helps your body know when to get ready to swing the bat.
...And your balance and movement sense helps you to stay upright, hit the ball and run the bases.
We all need to integrate our senses to engage in everyday activities. When everyday activities become frustrating for a child, it may be because they are having trouble organizing and using information from their senses.
Sensory integration issues can show up in many different ways. Your child might seem to be over or under reactive to different types of sensory experiences, such as textures, sounds or movements.
Or a child might appear clumsy, or disorganized, or have difficulty learning new motor skills. Every child is unique in both their abilities and in their possible areas of concern.
The good news is that there is help for children with sensory and motor challenges. Through occupational therapy using a sensory integrative approach a child can improve their ability to use sensory information while participating in a variety of fun sensory-motor activities.
Occupational therapy using this approach often takes place in a large gym that has lots of fun opportunities for children to experience movement and use their senses to play, learn, and develop.
Therapy helps kids simply be kids, learning and playing alongside friends, and fully enjoying their young lives.
If you think your child might have issues related to poor sensory integration, ask your pediatrician to refer you to an occupational therapist for an evaluation. And don't wait. The earlier you start, the better for your child.
For more information about sensory integration, contact Pathways.org either at www.pathways.org or call 1-800-955-CHILD to help your child reach their fullest potential.
All materials including videos are provided at no cost; no fees or charges may be associated with any of the Pathways.org materials without prior written approval.