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Presentation on theme: "SENSORY PROCESSING AND RELATED BEHAVIORS Dena Hayashino, COTA."— Presentation transcript:


2 OBJECTIVES Participants will: Have a basic understanding of sensory processing. Identify the foundational sensory systems. Recognizing signs of poor sensory processing. Develop strategies to improve behaviors related to sensory processing. Differentiate sensory vs. behavioral issues.

3 SENSORY PROCESSING What it is: Reacting to the information you take in. Good Processing Able to organize incoming information so it can be used effectively. Poor Processing Over or under reacting to incoming information.

4 HISTORY OF SENSORY PROCESSING 1963 by Jane Ayres Terms have changed through the years: Sensory Integration Disorder Dysfunction of Sensory Integration Sensory Processing Disorder

5 SENSORY PROCESS Registration Orientation and attention Organization of a response Execution of a response

6 THE SENSORY SYSTEMS Proprioception Vestibular Tactile Visual Auditory Olfactory Gustatory


8 The “Just Right Challenge” Provide child with input they are seeking Keep them from getting too much of what they can’t handle FUN!!!!

9 PROPRIOCEPTION Processing sensations perceived through the muscles, joint, ligament, tendons and connective tissue. It’s what gives us a sense of body awareness and body position.

10 SIGNS OF POOR PROPRIOCEPTIVE PROCESSING Tires easily. Stamping feet against the floor when walking. Chews constantly on objects. Frequent tripping or falling. Dressing and other self-help skills could be challenging. Walks on toes

11 STRATEGIES FOR POOR PROPRIOCEPTIVE PROCESSING Activities that will provide heavy work. Walking and crawling over cushions Bear hugs Providing small spaces for them to go into Pushing and pulling and hanging Gentle “Squashing” games Rough-housing

12 VESTIBULAR Responds to changes in head position and gravity…the “movement system” Effects: balance, equilibrium responses, muscle tone, coordination of eye and head movements, ability to use both sides of the body together; affects level of alertness.

13 Signs of Poor Vestibular Processing Dislike being on their stomach Dislikes baby swing Excessive spinning and rocking Excessive running Getting dizzy easily Never gets dizzy

14 STRATEGIES FOR POOR VESTIBULAR PROCESSING Provide opportunities for movement: Swinging (different swings and positions) Spinning Running Trampoline

15 TACTILE Sense of touch, includes deep pressure, pain, temperature. Protective touch…self preservation Discriminative touch…lets us know where we’re being touched and what we’re touching.

16 SIGNS OF POOR TACTILE PROCESSING Bothered by tags and/or certain fabrics. May not want to wear clothes… or may want to be totally covered May not like to be held Won’t touch and explore toys or food. High pain tolerance Dislike daily care routines. Crave touch

17 STRATEGIES FOR POOR TACTILE PROCESSING Provide a variety of tactile input Messy play activities Opportunities to touch different textures Drying extra long and firm after bath Adding deep pressure to touch Brief but frequent touch if defensiveness Longer deep touch for seekers

18 SENSORY MODULATION AND BEHAVIOR Difficulty modulating or monitoring the input can cause children to be: over-reactive (explosive/disruptive and avoidant) under-reactive (distracted and withdrawn) sensory seeking (the fidgeters or crashers) difficulty with transitions.

19 POOR BEHAVIORS Saying something mean or rude to someone Spitting Hitting Pushing Poor manners in general

20 SO IS IT SENSORY OR BEHAVIOR? If it’s behavior: Circumstances should change it. (example: Child throws a fit when it’s time to ride in the car to daycare, but when it’s time to go to the park, the car ride doesn’t bother them). positive re-enforcement changes it. If it’s sensory: It manifests itself in generalized circumstances.

21 SO IS IT SENSORY OR BEHAVIOR? It could be a behavior that is learned over time due to less than ideal sensory processing…but poor behavior still shouldn’t be accepted. Don’t punish sensory problems but don’t tolerate bad behavior.

22 So How Do I Handle It? Temple Grandin offered some suggestions: Make accommodations for sensory problems: Screams when fire alarm rings Tantrums in large supermarket Poor toleration of scratchy clothes Poor hand writing Hyperactivity under fluorescent lights

23 So How Do I Handle It? Don’t tolerate bad behavior: Being rude Bad table manners Manipulating teacher by having a tantrum Poor grooming or sloppy clothes Laughing at a fat lady swearing

24 SENSORY DIET A sensory diet is: A planned activity program carried out throughout the child’s day. Activities to maintain an alert and calm body. A tool for behavior management. Most sensory diets focus on providing input to tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive systems.

25 SENSORY DIET Considerations: What time of day is most challenging What stimulation are they seeking? What are they avoiding?


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