Occupational Therapy Sensory Assessment & Support

for "Sensory Processing"

 

We need sensory information about our environment to be able to carry out everyday occupations, from seemingly simple tasks e.g. writing a note, making a cup of tea, searching for our keys in a bag, to more complex activities e.g. driving, playing team sports, cooking for a family event.

 

The information coming in from our senses needs to processed and interpreted to then be able to carry out particular actions. Most of the time this happens without us thinking. For those with sensory processing disorders however, interpreting, planning, adapting and then putting muscles to action to carry out a task can be challenging. It can also be challenging to regulate emotions if we are experiencing 'sensory overload' or a task seems more difficult than it should be.

 

Here are some of the common signs that an individual may have sensory issues:

•    Movement (vestibular) – constantly being fidgety, seeking out extreme sports e.g. motor biking, bungee jumping, skydiving.

•    Sight – may be sensitive to lights and busy places with lots of movement, or may seek out colours and light.

•    Touch – may not like being touched (also called being ‘tactile defensive’) and dislike haircuts/ hairbrushing, dislike clothes or certain fabrics, may also dislike getting hands dirty. OR may like touching people, things, or wearing tight clothing.

   Taste – may be a ‘picky eater’ and dislike certain tastes or textures. Or may chew things such as pens, finger nails.

•    Hearing – being sensitive to loud noises such as hand dryers, easily distracted by background noise. Or may like repetitive sounds or making loud noises.

•    Body awareness (proprioception) – being ‘clumsy’, difficulty balancing, problems with fine motor skills such as replacing batteries in a remote, sewing.

 

If you resonate with this then help can be given to assess and understand your own sensory profile, and then support given to help develop some sensory based strategies to help regulate emotions and also complete the tasks/occupations that you would need and like to do.