We all have our own unique preferences and aversions when it comes to the way we perceive the sensory information in our surroundings. But for some children, these preferences and aversions can become problematic, leading to difficulty participating in everyday activities and routines.
The following behaviors are sensory integration or sensory processing red flags and may indicate that a child requires additional support. This might not necessarily mean that he/she is autistic, but that they definitely need a medical point of view.
Sensory Red Flags To Pay Attention To
1. Avoids Movement – If your child gets scared at climbing playground equipment, roughhousing, or riding a swing, it is likely that they are avoiding vestibular input. Vestibular input is our sixth and seventh senses that give us our sense of balance and body awareness.
2. Food Aversions – Although not always sensory, gagging immediately when confronted with food is often because the oral system is overwhelmed.
3. Walking on toes – Children often do this because they are sensitive to the sensations they are feeling on their feet and prefer as little of their foot to touch the surface as possible. Sometimes children toe-walk because they like the pressure it puts on their ankle, which is more proprioceptive feedback. Or, it can also be the result of a vestibular system that isn’t processing properly.
4. Slow paced– There are a variety of reasons why a child may seem to fall or bump into objects more than other children, and one of the most overlooked reasons is that the child’s proprioception and possibly vestibular systems aren’t working too well.
5. Overwhelmed in crowds – If your child hates going to parties or other public places, it is possible that they may be overstimulated by the noise, lights, and/or people accidentally touching them. For children who have this response due to a sensory processing difficulty, a party can be downright torture as the sounds, sights, and unexpected touches can just be painful to them.
6. Preference for tight clothing – Sometimes children will want to layer clothes or wear really tight fitted clothing. It may seem strange, but the sensation they receive is calming to them and may even help them focus better. Or, your child may be extremely particular about some sort of fabric. This all may relate back to sensory processing issues.
7. Wildness– There are a variety of reasons that children seem to bounce off the walls at times, but children that always seem to be jumping, climbing, running, pushing, and roughhousing are typically seeking out proprioceptive input, and sometimes vestibular as well. Unfortunately, these children are often described as “bad” or wild, but really, they are just trying to get their needs met.
At World Stem Cell Clinic, we believe that that having an informed parent –in an effort to empower him and his family– is the only way to for us to deliver optimal healthcare. Visit our website to find out more about our services and let us be part of your journey.