Category Archives: sensory processing

Upper Body Strength

Increases independence in self care at home and fine motor success at school Low muscle tone, and poor coordination tend to be a problem for many children who have Sensory Processing Dysfunction and may result in weak upper body strength.  This impacts the muscles of the neck needed to hold the head in a centered position so that the eye muscles can work properly. 

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Understanding Directions

Navigational skills – being able to sequentially follow directions does not come easily for persons with Sensory Processing Dysfunction.   While many might consider this skill to be somewhat intuitive, developmental theorists have shown us that this skill  initially develops in childhood from learning experiences we have with manipulating objects in space. It is from this basic platform of building and constructing projects that the

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Back to School with Visual Association Skills

Many children who have Sensory Processing Dysfunction (SPD)  also have difficulty with Visual Association skills  (the ability to connect language with visual images).  Research using Diffusion tensor Imaging shows us that this may be due to poor connectivity of  brain pathways responsible for linking the visual cortex with the language cortex of the brain. Fortunately, when children are young and the cortex of the

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Body Awareness A.K.A. Somatosensory Perception

What is Body Awareness and how does it work? Body awareness is the ability to interpret sensory information arising from joints, muscles, skin and inner ears of the body. These specialized sensory receptors are termed “somatosensory receptors”. They function by relying upon a multitude of moment to moment reactions incorporating concepts of how the body is situated  in space, how the body parts are positioned,

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Vestibular Functions And SPD Part 3

One outcome of vestibular functions is spatial awareness. This skill may be defined as the ability to perceive the shape and position of objects in the environment and/or  the ability to appreciate the position of oneself in relationship to objects in the environment. The vestibular system stimulates the muscles of the eyes and ears so as to sharpen their ability to discriminate among sensory

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Vestibular Processing and SPD Part 2

Essential  Skills  Mediated by the Vestibular System Visual system – coordination of muscles that move the eye balls.  This helps eyes work together to focus on:  a) the trajectory of moving objects as they pass through space and b) the perceived trajectory of stationary objects in the environment as the person moves from place to place. Auditory system – coordination of muscles that act

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Vestibular Processing and SPD Part 1

What is Vestibular Processing? Vestibular processing may be defined as the ability to interpret and conceptualize data arising from  movement of the head in space.  The application of this information allows us to interpret the spatial orientation of objects around us. Why is Vestibular Processing Important? The ability to conceptualize the position of oneself in space affords emotional, psychological and physical safety commonly referred to

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Why set up a workstation for Duplo projects?

In much the same way as a mechanic, scrapbook pro, or programmer  would set up a tool chest separating out tools that perform different functions, children with SPD also need to learn to associate form with function.  One technical term used is the phrase “identification of functional affordances” (what function can this object afford me?).  The ability to quickly identify how an object can

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Graviception

Graviception is described as the ability to appreciate the force of gravity as we move through space.  Graviception develops from integration of sensory input including information  from the vestibular, visual, and somatosensory systems.  Research has now shown that graviception provides a developmental basis for evolving concepts of spatial relations embedded in academic success.  Curricular skills such as handwriting, math, geometry, history, geography, and fluency

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Awareness of the Self in Space

Our knowledge about concepts such as body scheme, personal space, and near space perception has grown tremendously over the recent  years.  This has largely been due to a broad array of neurophysiological, neurokinesiological, and neuropsychological research evidence.  Bringing these concepts down to the practical level of function and intervention for the child with SPD can be daunting. However, given advances in fmri and DTI

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