Red Flags for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month. Each Tuesday in October, we will share some of the “red flags” of SPD.
Many parents of children with sensory processing difficulties report feeling that something was “off” with their child, but they were unable to identify the source. The following list includes some of the red flags we as occupational therapists look for when evaluating a child for sensory dysfunction. If you are concerned about your child’s development and ability to process sensory input, speak with your pediatrician, or give us a call at the Center to discuss the potential need for an evaluation.
Signs of Proprioceptive Dysfunction
The proprioceptive system uses receptors in the joints and muscles throughout the body to provide information regarding body position without having to actually look at our body parts. This system also helps to grade the amount of force that is needed to pick up an egg vs. pick up a full gallon of milk. Proprioceptive input is gained during activities such as pushing, pulling, dragging, lifting, crashing, jumping, chewing and squeezing.
Does your child:
- Have a strong internal drive for activities such as pushing, pulling, dragging, crashing, etc.?
- Kick his feet against the floor or chair legs when seated at a table?
- Fall to the floor intentionally?
- Frequently bump into people?
- Fail to notice when he has fallen?
- Tend to grasp objects so tightly or loosely that it is difficult to use them?
- Press extremely hard or very lightly on a pencil when writing?
- Unintentionally use excessive force when playing with animals or peers, such as petting a cat too hard, or giving a hug that is painful to the other person?
- Break toys or writing tools by pressing too hard?
- Have a history of difficulty learning bowel and bladder control?
Last Week: The Vestibular System
Next Week: The Auditory System