13 Mar What does sensory mean?
As I sit back on this beautiful Sunday, I am reflecting on the wild sensory world that we live in.
When someone refers to your child as “sensory,” or you are told that he or she has “sensory challenges,” what does that even mean?
I am passionate about helping families and teachers understand the importance of respecting children’s sensory needs. The world can be overwhelming enough for a person with autism, but bring sensory challenges into the mix and it can be almost debilitating. (But there are things you can do to help).
Most of us have 5 senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing.
However, when it comes to autism, you will often hear about two more senses: proprioceptive and vestibular sense.
I am going to quickly define each of these for you.
Proprioceptive sense refers to the sensory input and feedback that tells us about movement and body position.
A child who has difficulties in this area might seek out sensory input by jumping, wearing tight clothing, climbing under pillows, hitting or biting himself or others, or stomping his or her feet. It can look different in every child.
The vestibular sense helps with balance and orientation in space. It lets you know if you are moving or if something in your environment is moving. If your child has difficulties with this, he may feel as if he is constantly moving or twirling. He may spin to get dizzy or love swinging. Or perhaps, he hates putting his head back to get his hair washed because he is afraid that he may fall backwards.
If your child has sensory challenges, then he is most likely dealing with a difficulty in one of these areas. He is not receiving sensory input from his environment like you or I. He is either being bombarded with stimuli, is not receiving enough input, or perhaps a little of both.
There are so many awesome and fun activities that you can do with your child to help with sensory overwhelm and underwhelm. It really does depend on your child’s individual needs, the environment, and your access to resources (no worries, there are tons of things you can make at home to help).
Something really exciting that can help you is a program that I have just developed for parents of children with sensory needs. It’s called the Sensory Club and it’s designed to give you steps, activities, and strategies to assist your sensory child.
Imagine what life would feel like if you weren’t sure if you were moving or if the car next to you was moving? It’s not easy, but I am here to help.
Doors are now open to the Sensory Club. You can click here to join us!