Sensory processing involves a child’s ability to make sense of sensations, enabling them to develop responses. Children experiencing sensory processing difficulties may struggle with behaviors, social skills, self-care, and school tasks. Sensory difficulties can be defined as either hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) or hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) to sensory input. Children can demonstrate difficulties in 8 different sensory systems including tactile (touch), auditory, visual, gustatory (taste), olfactory (smell), proprioceptive (position of body), vestibular (balance/spatial orientation), and interoception (internal sensory).
If your child is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, they may be experiencing sensory processing difficulties and may benefit from occupational therapy:
• Avoids messy hands, face, or just mess in general
• Has difficulty with certain clothing items such as tags
• Sensitive to loud, sudden sounds
• Distracted by background noises
• Poor hand-eye coordination
• Poor handwriting and drawing skills
• Sensitive to food textures
• Mouthing non-food objects and exploring textures such as chewing on
pencils, clothing etc.
• Limited diet (gagging or avoiding)
• Avoid or crave jumping, crashing, pushing, pulling, bouncing or
• Becomes dizzy easily, or never becomes dizzy
• Difficulty in regulating feelings and emotions
• Has difficulty standing still - is constantly moving (fidgets)
• Poor body awareness
Here at OSPTI, our pediatric occupational therapists can evaluate for and treat any of these sensory processing concerns with a variety of assessments and client centered treatments. We see children from birth to 18 years of age. To start the process a child will need a doctor’s order for the evaluation and an appointment can be scheduled with us at 218-641-7725 in Breckenridge, Minnesota, 218-998-2980 in Fergus Falls, and 701-242-7323 in Hankinson, North Dakota.
If you have any questions or are interested in an evaluation please reach out to one of our clinics!