Sensory Processing
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Everybody processes sensory input. Sensory processing is the way that our bodies take in information through our senses, and puts it together with previous information, memories and knowledge in order for us to be able to understand, react and interact with the world around us. Sensory input is constantly coming in through our senses and being registered and interpreted by our brain before being sent to other areas of the brain for processing and action. We receive information from seven sensory systems:

  • Visual (sight)
  • Auditory (hearing)
  • Tactile (touch)
  • Vestibular (movement and balance)
  • Proprioception (body position and body awareness)
  • Gustatory (taste)
  • Olfactory (smell)

When the brain can’t organise all this information coming in simultaneously, “It’s like a traffic jam in your head, with conflicting signals quickly coming from all directions, so that you don’t know how to make sense of it all”. (Quote by Nancy Peske).

Sensory processing challenges are often first recognised during the toddler years, when parents notice that a child has an unusual aversion to noise, light, shoes that are deemed too tight, clothes that are irritating or persistently seeks out movement and are always “on the go”.

We all have our own way of finding the just right balance, as adults we may drink a cup of coffee, go for a run or meditate.

When children are having difficulties with sensory regulation, Occupational Therapy can help them to find the right type of activities for them to stay in their ‘just right’ zone, in order to be able to concentrate at school and navigate different environments and situations.  

Quote: Quote: By Nancy Peske in article titled ‘Sensory Processing Issues Explained’ published at childmind.org

If you would like an OT to assist you in exploring your child’s sensory needs, please call our friendly administration team on 9313 6566.

Kids Are Kids! Family in the Sensory Xploration Hub