Sensory Processing Disorder in Children
Sensory processing disorders impact a child’s ability to appropriately receive, process and react to sensory feedback. The disorder can impact on one of the following areas or a combination: visual, auditory, taste, touch and movement.
Sensory processing disorder effects the functional skill development of 1 in 20 children in Australia. Sensory processing disorder can go undiagnosed or untreated in children for a long period of time because it is often mistaken for poor behaviour or ‘melt downs’.
Signs and symptoms
A child may be hypersensitive (over reactive, sensory avoidance) or hyposensitive (under reactive, sensory seeking) to sensory stimulus. The disorder may appear with as a number of behavioural or personality traits the child may develop.
Melt downs which are not always explainable
Poor listening skills or being unable to follow complex tasks provided verbally or visually
Fidgety behaviour during classroom activities or tasks requiring the child to concentrate for an extended period of time
Child appears unsettled while seated at a desk, chair or during floor activities- swinging legs, moving around on the chair or unable to sit still.
Avoiding rooms or social settings
Putting objects in mouth
Over or under sensitive to movement, noise, taste, smell or touch
Sniffs, licks and touches objects inappropriately
Fussy with foods- taste, texture or smell
Unresponsive to a stimulus which we would usually respond to
Difficulty dealing with change in routine or environment