Children receive and perceive sensory input through our sights, sounds, touches, tastes, smells, movements and balance, body position and muscle control. All of these sensations make-up your child’s sensory processing system which is controlled by your child’s brain. Sensory processing disorder impacts kids making it difficult to take in or interpret this input and thus can lead to devastating consequences with interactions with others and daily functioning, social and family relationships, self-esteem, using appropriate behavior and especially learning.
Why Do Kids Seek Out Sensory Input?
- Do you wonder why they are uninhibited – jumping and crashing into anything they can?
- Why puzzles are tricky- write is challenging – or coordination for riding a bike is off?
- Why loud sounds bother them too much – even vacuums, toilets or hairdryers?
- Why they don’t like to be touched or can’t get enough touch?
- Why they will only eat certain foods and cannot even be around other foods?
- Why they have their “favorite feel” clothing or need you to cut the tags out of their shirts?
- Ever wonder why you can’t seem to calm them down or get them to sleep?
- Why they won’t put their hands in anything messy or use glue, Play Doh, or play with mud?
- Why they fear playground equipment or want to constantly swing?
- Why crowded places bother them so much they end up having a major meltdown?
Your child’s brain is the supercomputer that is running his or her body. When the brain is functioning in an overactive state in the areas that process sensory and motor information, these behaviors result. The symptoms are viewed by most as negative behaviors that the child is performing. The truth is that these sensory seeking or aversion behaviors are a symptom of the underlying problem. Your child is not choosing to act that way, he or she needs to in order to bring a sense of calm to the overactive brain.