Sensory Awareness Month

21 October 2021

Child in Occupational Therapy ball pit

Did you know that October is Sensory Awareness Month? Research has estimated that 1 in 6 children in the classroom display sensory processing differences, making it difficult for them to engage and learn. The rate is much higher in children with special needs with 32% showing sensory differences.

Sensory Processing: what is it and why is it important?

From birth to old age and throughout our daily lives, we all understand our environment through the information we receive through our senses via our eyes (sight), ears (sound), nose (smell), joints & muscles (movement and body awareness ), mouth (taste), and skin (touch). The brain can be seen as a sensory processing machine. It takes in information from our bodies and the world around us and organises and integrates it for us to use in all of our daily activities like eating, dressing and playing.

Some children can be more sensitive to certain sensory experiences, whereas other children have higher thresholds and require more input to register the sensory information.

Sensory processing issues

Children with sensory processing issues experience too much or too little stimulation through these senses. They may also have difficulty integrating sensory information, for example, things that they see and hear simultaneously, like a person speaking, might seem out of sync for them. This can impact their ability to focus or manage their arousal levels e.g. calming themselves down, waking themselves up and sitting to focus and learn.

Providing sensory-rich experiences (try a DIY sensory bin or sensory crash pad!) is integral in helping your little one to make sense of and interact with the world around us.

Sensory integration therapy at CPotential

Sensory integration is offered within our Occupational Therapy service at CPotential. Our Occupational Therapist, Paula, is qualified as a Sensory integration practitioner and has used sensory-based strategies extensively. We have a fully equipped sensory integration room for sessions at CPotential. This approach uses child-led play to challenge movement, balance and coordination and give structured exposure to different sensory inputs such as sounds, vision and touch.  It can positively influence your child’s attention, coordination, social participation and behaviour, leading to improvements at home, at school and better engagement in the wider community.

 

 

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