Today we are finishing up the series of What is Sensory Processing Disorder. I want to especially thank my mother in-law, Debbie (a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant) for all of her research and for giving lots of great ideas on this topic. Today we are looking at Oral, Tactile, Olfactory, Proprioceptive and Vestibular systems with sensory processing disorder (SPD).
**NOTE** If you have concerns that your child may have sensory processing disorder, please consult your physician and ask for a referral to an Occupational Therapist. These tips are not meant to replace medical advice from your trained local professionals. All children, and people for that matter have sensory sensitivities. You may see some things listed below that your child does. This does NOT mean that they automatically has SPD. These tips are helpful for ALL children dealing with sensory sensitivities. Again please consult your doctor/pediatrician and a local licensed and trained Occupational Therapist to assess your child for any concerns. Thank you!
Here is one that I personally am sensitive to, I am guilty of chewing on my cheeks, I had a friend that as an adult was still chewing on pencils or pens, or my daughter hated brushing her teeth as a small child, she claimed mostly because of the taste. These are all symptoms of Oral Tactile sensitivities.
Oral/Tactile Sensitivities with Sensory Processing Disorder
taste and oral movements Symptoms:
- Hyper: Sensitive to brushing teeth and food textures
- Hypo: Explore objects by mouthing them, chewing on pencils, etc.
- Allow gum chewing
- Non-edible chewing items (suggested reading: Why Your Sensory Child Chews & What You Can Do to Help)
- Encourage a variety of food and textures (visit www.YourKidsTable.com for more sensory related food questions)
- Vibrating toothbrush
- Straw to drink from to help attention
- Hyper: Oversensitive to smells, Limited diet
- Hypo:Explore objects by smelling
- Scented play dough (pumpkin scented play dough recipe)
- Add peppermint to finger paint
- Scented markers
- Scented bath soaps and lotions
- Poor coordination
- Difficulty grading amount of pressure
- Weight across lap
- Bean bag chair to sit in
- Heavy work
- Weighted vest
- Carry groceries
- Wearing lycra
- chair push-ups
- Fearful of heights
- Does not like feet off ground
- Needs more input
- Craves spinning, swinging
- Has difficulty standing still
- Ball chair
- Wiggle cushion
- Partially inflated beach ball
- 2 tennis balls put on diagonal corners of chair for rocking
- Needs more movement breaks
- Bike riding
- Slow down before bed time
Solutions for teachers and parents:
Olfactory Sensitivities in Sensory Processing Disorder
We all hate bad orders, but sometimes there are some that don’t bother some people but others absolutely hate. Olfactory System: Chemical receptors with direct neuronal connections to limbic system (responsible for emotional memory)
Solutions for Parents & Teachers:
Proprioceptive Sensitivities in Sensory Processing Disorder
We all know of a child, maybe he/she sat in front of you in school, or maybe it was you that the teacher was always yelling at to sit down or slow down. At play this child may always be literally “bouncing off the walls” or falling down. These children are seeking sensory input into their joints or muscles called proprioception, or knowing where your body is in space. Proprioceptive: receptors in joints, muscles and tendons perceive contraction, stretching and compression.
For more information on the vestibular system read: The Vestibular System and How it Affects Your Child's Behavior.
Solutions for Parents & Teachers:
Vestibular Sensitivities in Sensory Processing Disorder
Last on the list is vestibular. Again, this can affect any of us and we probably know of someone or are ourselves affected by some form of vestibular processing. The vestibular system is composed of structures in the inner ear that detect movement and changes in head positions.
Solutions for Parents/Teachers:
(Suggested Reading: 10 Brain Breaks for Kids)
To read the rest of the posts in this series you can follow the links below:
You can also find more ideas on my Pinterest boards below. Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog's board OT Tips from GRB on Pinterest. Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog's board Occupational Therapy Tips on Pinterest.