When the sensory information that the brain receives does not get organised or processed efficiently, three main clusters of behaviours are generally observed – sensory defensive, sensory seeking and sensory under-responsive. It is important to keep in mind that each person’s response to sensory information is unique and although it may be different to the typical or expected response, it is a real response or reaction for that person and should be acknowledged as such. For example, if a child’s sensory system is sent into a reflexive fight or flight response at the touch of different textures such as sand or playdough, they cannot control this response and telling them that it’s ok and to just give it a go is likely to be more harmful than helpful.
Children who present as sensory defensive can exhibit behaviours such as:
Children who present as sensory seeking, tend to exhibit the following behaviours:
Children who under respond to sensory information, tend to:
Written by Madeline Avci. Mum of 3 active boys. Occupational Therapist. Owner of Jump Up for Kids (including Jump Up Outdoors). Madeline is passionate about making the outdoors part of everyone’s day and supporting families to navigate the challenges of our modern world.