International Adoption Health Program

Sensory Processing Difficulties

Sensory Processing difficulties include a child's ability to process, interpret, and respond to sensory stimulation they are receiving through their senses. Sensory Processing abilities utilize the brain and central nervous system. The senses include: vision, smell, hearing, touch, taste, movement, and proprioception.

Vision includes not only the ability to actually see with good acuity, but also includes functional use of vision that is required for identification and categorization of colors and symbols. Smell and taste sensations enable the child to be more aware of their environment, as well as to enjoy healthy mealtimes. Touch includes light touch, deep touch, soft and hard surface exchanges, etc. Proprioception is the ability to understand where one's body is in space and it's relation to other objects in the environment.

Children and adults are continually using all of their senses simultaneously throughout the day while engaging in daily life. Children who are institutionalized and even those in foster care may not have had the opportunity to engage in play activities that engaged their senses and therefore helped them to learn about the world around them. Therefore, these children may present with daily challenges, including but not limited to:

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