Sensory processing

What is sensory processing?
•    The neurological process of organising sensations for use in everyday life.
•    We use sensations to survive, to satisfy our desires, to learn and to function smoothly.

Which sensations are involved?
Touch: Through the surface of our skin. Information regarding texture, shape and size.
Vision: Through our eyes. A little more than 180° view.
Hearing: Through our ears. 80% of the information gathered by the senses travels through the ear.
Vestibular: Through the inner ear. Information about gravity, space, balance and movement as well as our head and body position in relation to the earth.
Proprioceptive: Through muscles and joints. Information about where our body parts are and what they are doing.

Why is sensory processing important?
It influences the following everyday functions:

Academic skills, Hand Preference, Visual discrimination, Attention, Visualization, Gross motor skills, Auditory discrimination, Balance, Bilateral Integration, Kinesthesis, Muscle Tone, Body Awareness, Body Position, Postural Stability, Motor Planning, Emotional Security, Healthy Relationships, Self-esteem, Eye-foot Coordination, Self-protection, Eye-hand Coordination, Self-regulation, Fine Motor Skills, Social Skills, Flexibility, Self-comforting, Tactile Discrimination, Speech and Language Skills, Grading of Movement and Gravitational Security.

The seven DROPS of play
According to Carol Stock Kranowitz you should remember to do the following when playing with your children:

  1. Drop your voice – try to play while whispering, it helps children not to get explosive and out of control.
  2. Drop your body – play on the floor.
  3. Drop the TV remote.
  4. Drop your guard – allow your child to take calculated risks (be SAFE).
  5. Drop your defences –Don’t get defensive.
  6. Drop your batteries – you need to play hands on with your child, no battery operated toys.
  7. Drop your misconception that fun is frivolous – we all need to have fun. Good sensations are a necessity.

Click here for some activities that develops sensory processing.