The 8 senses
Sensory processing describes the way our body receives and interprets stimuli using our senses, with each sensory system playing unique roles. Some individuals will find sensory processing challenging, which can affect attention, learning and performance of everyday tasks. Sensory processing difficulties can include:
Sensory cravers or seekers, have an infinite need for sensory stimulation. They may be constantly seeking out bright lights, loud music, certain textures, or physical contact with others.
Seekers may seem to need constant stimulation. However, they will often become more deregulated as they get more input.
Over-responsive individuals or avoiders, feel overwhelmed by their senses. They may be irritated by faint smells, changes in temperature, or background noises that others may not notice.
Auditory: Sense of sound, received through the ears.
Gustatory: Sense of taste, received through the mouth.
Avoiders often have extreme or upsetting reactions to even very mild stimulation.
Proprioception: Awareness of where the body is in space. Strength is used to complete tasks.
Vestibular: Sense of balance and orientation.
Under-responsive individuals have difficulties detecting, understanding, and responding to sensory stimuli such as sound, light, or touch.
Olfactory: Sense of smell, received through the nose.
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Visual: Sense of sight, received through the eyes.
the sensory input.
Tactile: Sense of touch, received by skin contact.
Sensory processing can be strongly linked to emotional state. When individuals are calm and relaxed, they can be more accepting of incoming stimuli. For further information: What is Sensory Processing? – Sensory Processing (humber.nhs.uk)
Interoception: Awareness of the internal body states, understanding and feeling what is happening with the body.
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