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Sensory Processing

Sensory processing refers to how the body takes in and makes sense of sensory information from within our own bodies and from our environment.

The sensory system is made up of seven systems:

We need to be able to effectively regulate our sensory systems in order to be in a calm/alert state that enables us to participate in every day activities.

Difficulties can occur when certain sensory information is not processed effectively and may result in an ‘inappropriate’  behavioural response. This may mean that they over-respond or under-respond to sensory input.

Over responsive/hyperactive - This is an over response of the nervous system to sensory input. Too much stimulation may make someone feel overwhelmed, overloaded or overstimulated and may respond with a ‘fight’ response i.e. will lash out or a ‘flight’ response i.e. will run away. Alternatively they may ‘freeze; i.e. not respond at all and ‘shut down’ in order to cope.

Under responsive/hypoactive - This is an under response of the nervous system to sensory input. Too little stimulation may make someone feel bored, underwhelmed or under stimulated i.e. they may seek stimulation or attention and are often those that fidget and constantly move around and described as ‘hyperactive’.