Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist

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Sensory processing disorder is a condition where the brain misinterprets sensory information so that the body responds in atypical ways. Sensory processing disorder can be broken down into different categories, but one thing is clear: interpretation of sensory input is “off”. Here, you will find a list of common sensory responses that might be seen with sensory processing disorder. Use this sensory processing disorder checklist to better understand responses to sensory input.

Sensory Processing Disorder checklists for each sensory system

With sensory processing disorder, input from each of the sensory systems can be interpreted by the brain in different ways. Kids can hyper-respond or overreact to sensory input. Or, they can hypo-respond, or under-react to sensory information.

Sensory processing disorder can be seen in children or on adults.

These sensory processing disorder checklists are broken down by sensory system

Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist

Putting it all together – Let’s look at all of the sensory systems in a list:

  • Visual System (Sight)
  • Auditory System (Sound)
  • Tactile System (Touch)
  • Gustatory System (Taste)
  • Olfactory System (Smell)
  • Proprioceptive System (Position in space)
  • Vestibular System (Movement)
  • Interoceptive System (Inner body)

Typically, dysfunction within these three systems present in many different ways.  A child with sensory difficulties may be over- or under-responsive to sensory input.  They may operate on an unusually high or unusually low level of activity.  They may fatigue easily during activity or may constantly be in motion.  Children may fluctuate between responsiveness, activity levels, and energy levels.

Additionally, children with sensory processing dysfunctions typically present with other delays.  Development of motor coordination, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social-emotional skills, behaviors, executive functioning skills, language, and learning are all at risk as a result of impaired sensory processing.

Sensory processing disorder checklists for responses seen to sensory input.

Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist- Tactile System

Hyper-responsiveness of the tactile sense may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to tactile sensation. This looks like:

  • Overly sensitivity to temperature including air, food, water, or objects
  • Withdrawing when touched
  • Refusing certain food textures
  • Dislike of having face or hair washed
  • Dislikes of hair cuts
  • Dislikes of having fingernails cut
  • Excessively ticklish
  • Avoidance to messy play or getting one’s hands dirty
  • Avoidance of finger painting, dirt, sand, bare feet on grass, etc.
  • Clothing preferences and avoidances such as resisting shoes or socks
  • Annoyance to clothing seams or clothing textures
  • Resistance to hair brushing
  • Overreactions to accidental or surprising light touches from others
  • Avoids affectionate touch such as hugs

Hypo-responsiveness of the tactile sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or under-reaction to tactile sensation. This may look like:

  • Seeks out tactile sensory input
  • Bumps into others
  • High pain tolerance
  • Stuffs food in mouth
  • Licks items or own skin
  • Not aware of being touched
  • Seems unaware of light touch
  • Startles easily when touched
  • When getting dressed, doesn’t notice clothing that is twisted
  • Tendency for self-abusiveness: biting self, rubbing self with heavy pressure, head-banging, pinching self, etc.
  • Doesn’t notice a runny nose, messy face, or messy hands
  • Puts items in the mouth
  • Lack of personal space
  • Runs into other children without noticing
  • Has difficulty maintaining space in line; bumps into others without noticing
  • Falls out of chair
  • NEEDS to touch everything
  • Uses a tight pencil grip on the pencil
  • Writes with heavy pencil pressure
  • Tears paper when cutting with scissors
  • Unintentionally rough on siblings, other children, or pets
  • Always touching others or things
  • Seeks out messy play experiences
  • Prefers to rub or feel certain textures
  • Difficulty with fine motor tasks
  • Craves touch

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER CHECKLIST- Proprioception SYSTEM

The Proprioception Sensory System is the recognition and response to the body’s position in space with an internal feedback system using the position in space of the joints, tendons, and muscles.  This sensory system allows the body to automatically react to changes in force and pressure given body movements and object manipulation.  The body receives more feedback from active muscles rather than passive muscle use.  Related to the proprioception system is praxis or motor planning.  Individuals are able to plan and execute motor tasks given feedback from the proprioceptive system. Praxis allows us to utilize sensory input from the senses and to coordinate hat information to move appropriately.

Hyper-responsiveness of the proprioception sense may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to proprioceptive sensation. This may include postural insecurity. This may look like:

  • Uses too little pressure when writing or coloring
  • Prefers soft or pureed foods
  • Appears lethargic
  • Bumps into people or objects
  • Poor posture, slumps in their seat
  • Poor handwriting
  • Inability to sit upright when writing or completing desk work; Rests with head down on arms while working
  • Poor awareness of position-in-space
  • Frequent falling
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor balance
  • Poor body awareness
  • Poor attention
  • Poor motor planning

Hypo-responsiveness of the proprioceptive sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or underreaction to proprioceptive sensation. This looks like:

  • Uses excessive pressure when writing or coloring
  • “Jumper and crasher”- seeks out sensory input
  • Can’t sleep without being hugged or held
  • Bumps into people or objects
  • Seems aggressive
  • Grinds teeth
  • Walks on toes
  • Chews on pencils, shirt, sleeve, toys, etc.
  • Prefers crunchy or chewy foods
  • Cracks knuckles
  • Breaks pencils or crayons when writing or coloring
  • Pinches, bites, kicks, or headbutts others
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills
  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor awareness of position-in-space
  • Stomps their feet on the ground when walking
  • Kicks their chair or their neighbors chair in the classroom
  • Frequent falling
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor balance
  • Constantly moving and fidgeting
  • Poor attention

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER CHECKLIST- Vestibular SYSTEM

The Vestibular Sensory System is the sense of movement and balance, and uses the receptors in the inner ear and allows the body to orient to position in space.  The vestibular system is closely related to eye movements and coordination.  Vestibular sensory input is a powerful tool in helping children with sensory needs.  Adding a few vestibular activities to the day allows for long-lasting effects.  Every individual requires vestibular sensory input in natural development.  In fact, as infants we are exposed to vestibular input that promotes a natural and healthy development and integration of all systems. 

Problems with the Vestibular Processing System can present as different ways:

  • Poor visual processing
  • Poor spatial awareness
  • Poor balance
  • Difficulty with bilateral integration
  • Sequencing deficits
  • Poor visual-motor skills
  • Poor constructional abilities
  • Poor discrimination of body position
  • Poor discrimination of movement
  • Poor equilibrium
  • Subtle difficulties discerning the orientation of head
  • Trouble negotiating action sequences

Hyper-responsiveness of the vestibular sense may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to vestibular sensation. This look may look like:

  • Experiences gravitational insecurity
  • Overly dizzy with motions
  • Resistant to moving activities such as swings, slides, elevators, or escalators
  • Fear of unstable surfaces
  • Unable to tolerate backward motions
  • Unable to tolerate side to side motions
  • Illness in moving vehicles
  • Avoids swings or slides
  • Gets motion sick easily
  • Appears “clingy”
  • Refuses to move from the ground (i.e. jumping or hopping activities)
  • Difficulty/fear of balance activities
  • Refusal to participate in gym class
  • Fearful on bleachers or on risers
  • Fear or dislike of riding in elevators or escalators
  • Fearful of movement
  • Dislike of spinning motions
  • Avoids chasing games
  • Overly fearful of heights
  • Nauseous when watching spinning objects
  • Poor posture
  • Easily fatigued
  • Poor coordination
  • Low muscle tone
  • Poor motor planning
  • Fearful when a teacher approaches or pushes in the child’s chair
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor attention

Hypo-responsiveness of the vestibular sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or underreaction to vestibular sensation. This may look like:

  • Constant movement including jumping, spinning, rocking, climbing
  • Craves movement at fast intervals
  • Craves spinning, rocking, or rotary motions
  • Poor balance on uneven surfaces
  • Constantly fidgeting
  • Increased visual attention to spinning objects or overhead fans
  • Bolts or runs away in community or group settings, or when outdoors or in large open areas such as shopping malls
  • Difficulty maintaining sustained attention
  • Impulsive movement
  • Constantly getting up and down from desk in the classroom
  • Walks around when not supposed to (in the classroom, during meals, etc.)
  • Loves to be upside down
  • Head banging
  • Leans chair back when seated at a desk
  • Loves spinning
  • Rocks self-back and forth when seated
  • Poor posture
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor motor planning
  • A deep need to keep moving in order to function
  • Frequent falling
  • Clumsiness
  • Poor balance
  • Poor attention

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER CHECKLIST- Visual SYSTEM

Eighty percent of the information we receive from our environment is visual.  When perception of this information is not processed correctly, it can create an altered state that influences many areas:  eye-hand coordination, postural reflexes, and vestibular processing are all influenced and reliant upon the visual system. 

The visual system is the sensory system that most individuals rely upon most heavily for daily tasks.  Visual information is perceived by cells in the back of the eye.  These cells (rods and cones) relay and transfer light information into information that is transferred to the central nervous system.  These photoreceptors are able to perceive day time vision and night time vision, with adjustments to sensitivity of light intensity.  They are able to respond to different spectrum of color and differentiate color information.  The rod and cone cells, along with the retina, process a great deal of visual information in the neural structure of the eye before transmitting information to the central nervous system. 

The relay of information from the eyes to the central nervous system are made up of three pathways.  Pathways project to different areas of the brain and allow for a) processing and recognition of faces/shapes/motion (the “what” and “where” of objects), b) integration of information in order to coordinate posture and eye movements, and c) oculomotor adaptation.

Hyper-responsiveness of the visual sense may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to visual sensation. This may look like:

  • Complains of lights being too bright
  • Unable to tolerate certain lighting such as fluorescent overhead lights
  • Struggles with sudden changes in lighting
  • Challenged by bright or flashing lights
  • Colorful lights “hurt” the eyes
  • Complains of headaches in bright light
  • Complains of the “glow” of unnatural lighting
  • Distressed by light sources
  • Sensitive to light
  • Sensitive to certain colors
  • Distracted by cluttered spaces
  • Avoids eye contact

Hypo-responsiveness of the visual sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or underreaction to visual sensation. This looks like:

  • Attracted to spinning objects
  • Difficulty with visual perception
  • Difficulty with eye-hand coordination
  • Difficulty with reading and writing
  • Holds or presses hands on eyelids in order to see flashing lights
  • Squints or presses eyelids shut
  • Flaps hands or objects in front of eyes

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER CHECKLIST- Auditory SYSTEM

Receptors for the auditory system are located in the inner ear and are responsible for receiving vibration from sound waves and changing them to fluid movement energy.  Information is projected to the central nervous system and transmits sound frequency as well as timing and intensity of sound input.  The auditory system is integrated with somatosensory input in order to play a role in controlling orientation of the eyes, head, and body to sound. 

Hyper-responsiveness of the auditory sense may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to auditory sensation. This may look like:

  • Startles easily to unexpected sounds
  • Dislikes noisy places
  • Overly sensitive to speakers on radios
  • Fearful of smoke detectors, overhead speakers
  • Shushes others or asks others to stop talking
  • Holds hands over ears
  • Sensitive to certain sounds such as lawnmowers or the hum of the refrigerator
  • Easily distracted by sounds and background noise
  • Hums to block out background noise

Hypo-responsiveness of the auditory sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or underreaction to auditory sensation. This looks like:

  • Seems to be unaware of sounds
  • Holds radio speakers up against ears
  • Doesn’t respond to alarms
  • Makes silly sounds at inappropriate times or frequently
  • Mimics sounds of others
  • Talks to self
  • Difficulty locating sounds, especially when in a noisy environment
  • Hums in order to hear the sound of humming

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER CHECKLIST- Gustatory System

The gustatory system perceives input through the tongue.  Taste cells in the mouth perceive five sensations: salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and savory.  The gustatory system is closely related to the sense of smell and proprioception.  How we perceive taste is deeply influenced by the sense of smell. 

While many children with sensory needs have a tendency to chew on their shirt collars or pencils as a sensory strategy in order to seek proprioception needs, the behavior may occur as a result or as a reaction to under-responding to oral input.  Other children may seek out intense taste sensations and in that case put non-edible items into their mouth to satisfy that sensory need.  Still other children may over-respond or under-respond to certain flavors or taste sensations.  For those children, it is common to experience food refusal related to texture or taste.

Hypersensitivity to oral sensory input may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to gustatory sensation. This looks like:

  • Dislike of mixed textures (cereal in milk or chunky soup)
  • Resistant to trying new foods
  • Avoids certain textures
  • Avoids straws
  • Avoidance of specific food or drink temperatures
  • Picky eating
  • Preference for bland foods
  • Avoids temperature extremes (unable to tolerate hot or cold foods)
  • Prefers foods that do not touch or mix on their plate
  • Use of only a specific spoon or fork or no utensil at all
  • Intolerance to teeth brushing.
  • Anxiety or gagging when presented with new foods
  • Drooling

Hypo-responsiveness of the gustatory sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or underreaction to gustatory sensation. This may look like:

  • Licking objects
  • Bites others
  • Chews on clothing
  • Hums all the time
  • Prefers a vibrating toothbrush
  • Prefers spicy foods
  • Stuffs food into cheeks
  • Prefers food very hot or very cold temperature

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER CHECKLIST- Olfactory System

The olfactory system, or the system that enables the sense of smell, has receptors in the tissue of the nose that are connected by pathways to the brain.  Connections occur via two pathways, one being a direct route to neurons in the brains and the second being a path that passes near the roof of the mouth.  This channel is connected to the taste of foods.

There is some evidence indicating that the sense of smell is more associated with memory than the sense of vision or the other senses.  The connection of the olfactory sense to the emotional part of the brain and previous experiences, as well as hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to smells can cause anxiety or sensory related breakdowns in children with sensory processing difficulties. 

Hyper-responsiveness of the olfactory sense may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to olfactory sensation. This may look like:

  • Overly sensitive to smells
  • Notices smells others don’t
  • Anxious around certain smells
  • Holds nose in response to certain scents

Hypo-responsiveness of the olfactory sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or underreaction to olfactory sensation. This may look like:

  • Smells unusual items like paper or certain materials
  • Prefers strong scents

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER CHECKLIST- Interoceptive System

The interoceptive sensory system is an area that most people are not as familiar with.  This system is connected to amygdala, the emotional system, the limbic system, our emotional awareness, our feelings, and subconscious arousal.  Receptors for the interoceptive system are in our organs and skin.  The receptors relay information regarding feelings such as hunger, thirst, heart rate, and digestion to the brain.  This is the foundation to sensations such as mood, emotions, aggression, excitement, and fear and in turn, promotes the physical response of our bodies. 

Physical responses include functions such as hunger, thirst, feelings, digestion, heart rate, and body temperature.

Hyper-responsiveness of the interoceptive sense may present in a child as over-responsiveness or overreaction to interoceptive sensation. This may look like:

  • High pain tolerance
  • Distracted and overwhelmed by feelings of stress
  • Distracted or overly sensitive to sensations of stomach digestion
  • Distracted or overly sensitive to sensation of heart beat
  • Always hungry or thirsty
  • Eat more and more often to avoid feelings of hunger
  • Unable to sense the feeling of being full; overeats or overdrinks
  • Overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, anger, happiness, etc. and unable to respond appropriately
  • High urine output
  • Use the bathroom more often than necessary to avoid feelings of a full bladder or bowel
  • Distracted by changes in body temperature
  • Distracted and overly sensitive to sweating
  • Overly sensitive to feeling ticklish or itchy
  • Overly sensitive to cold or heat
  • Overly sensitive to signs of illness
  • Fearful of vomiting

Hypo-responsiveness of the interoceptive sense may present in a child as under-responsiveness or underreaction to interoceptive sensation. This may look like:

  • Low pain tolerance
  • Poor or low response to interoceptive stimuli
  • Doesn’t know when to go to the bathroom
  • Never says they are hungry or thirsty
  • Does not drink or eat enough
  • Difficult to toilet train
  • Never complains of being cold or hot (always wears shorts in the winter or pants in the summer)
  • Never complains of sickness
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Unable to identify feelings of stress
  • Unable to identify specific feelings and appropriate responses

Sensory Checklists, explained

There is a lot to think about here, right? Taking a giant list of common sensory processing disorder lists and knowing what to do with that list is complicated. What if you had strategies to address each sensory system’s over-responsiveness or under-responsiveness so you could come up with a sensory diet that helps kids function?

In The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook, I do just that.

The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook

Sensory processing is broken down by sensory system so you can understand what you are seeing in the sensory responses listed above. Then, you can use the lists of sensory activities to help the child complete functional tasks while they get the sensory input they need to focus, organize themselves, and function.

The sensory activities are presented as meaningful and motivating tasks that are based on the child’s interests, making them motivating and meaningful.

You can get the Sensory Lifestyle Handbook and start building a sensory diet that becomes an integrated part of each day’s daily tasks, like getting dressed, completing household chores, school work, community interaction, and more.

Get your copy of The Sensory Lifestyle Handbook here.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

164 thoughts on “Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist”

  1. Proprioceptive! So many of the kiddos we see seek so much input and have difficulty attending to tasks, having meltdowns, etc!

  2. Proprioceptive! So many of the kiddos we see seek so much input and have difficulty attending to tasks, having meltdowns, etc!

  3. This looks like a great resource! One thing I see impacting sessions most are the sensory seekers! Makes attending to task difficult for them.

  4. Thanks so much for this post. I’m currently a level II fieldwork student in a sensory clinic and this is super helpful!

  5. I have seen every system with my students but my daughter struggles most with the interoceptive system. She has been in therapy for three years now and is making progress, although every day seems to be a mystery still (which I know is common).

  6. Kids who are sensory seeking and engage in a lot of whole body movement during the school day. This can impact them engaging in classroom activities that are set up to be quieter or more focused work.

  7. What I have seen most in working with pediatrics is proprioceptive and vestibular deficits which interfere with their ability to successfully engage in school tasks. I have also seen how interoception deficits can be a difficult when potty training children with Autism.

  8. A sensory response that I’ve seen impact function is vestibular and proprioception seeking, the child is always “on the go” and needs a lot of movement before they are ready to learn, as well as tactile defensiveness/hyperresponsivity.

  9. A sensory response that I’ve seen impact function is vestibular and proprioception seeking, the child is always “on the go” and needs a lot of movement before they are ready to learn, as well as tactile defensiveness/hyperresponsivity.

  10. I agree with the proprioceptive and vestibular feedback needs. My kids need constant input with pressure, touch, jumping etc so it’s hard for them to sit down and focus! It’s a challenge for sure! This looks like another great resource!

  11. I agree with the proprioceptive and vestibular feedback needs. My kids need constant input with pressure, touch, jumping etc so it’s hard for them to sit down and focus! It’s a challenge for sure! This looks like another great resource!

  12. I think proprioception under responsive and seeking patterns is what I see the most in schools. Some kiddos will look like they are in a daze and completely miss both lesson and instructions because the are not getting enough input. I also see a lot of kids who are craving input they are touching everything on their desks, tearing paper and breaking pencils fidgeting in their seats.

  13. Definitely proprioceptive! Vestibular would be a close second. Generally speaking, the impact I mainly see is either in the decreased ability to participate appropriately because they are in motion or seeking input or the performance of skills is diminished such as using light pressure when writing (or too heavy).

  14. Tactile aversion to food and clothing causing discomfort with bathing/dressing and gagging with mealtime.

  15. Tactile aversion to food and clothing causing discomfort with bathing/dressing and gagging with mealtime.

  16. Sound sensitivity with noisy classrooms and scraping of items on the floor. Proprioception and playing on the playground. Impaired tolerance of fabrics, winter boots, gym shorts.

  17. Sound sensitivity with noisy classrooms and scraping of items on the floor. Proprioception and playing on the playground. Impaired tolerance of fabrics, winter boots, gym shorts.

  18. Love this post! I would say proprioceptive seeking including jumping and chewing on clothing/ non edible items.

  19. Love this post! I would say proprioceptive seeking including jumping and chewing on clothing/ non edible items.

  20. I feel that proprioceptive input is one of the biggest areas that limit a child’s ability to function in their everyday life. The proprioceptive system causes so many problems as far as attention goes that it is hard for them to get their activities done.

  21. I feel that proprioceptive input is one of the biggest areas that limit a child’s ability to function in their everyday life. The proprioceptive system causes so many problems as far as attention goes that it is hard for them to get their activities done.

  22. The intense need for chewing on inedible objects, sensory defensiveness to textures of clothing, and auditory defensiveness are those that I see most often.

  23. I once had a student with such a severe sensory gag reflex. He would physically get sick at the sight of anything furry or fuzzy. He hated snow and sand and those textures would also make him physically sick. Brushing and desensitization activities worked really well. It really impacted his life in a negative way for many years.

  24. Love your blogs! Thank you for compiling information for us OTs! I have seen children who are so auditorily sensitive to the sounds in public bathrooms that they will avoid going to the bathroom altogether or meltdown once they are there.

  25. I have seen difficulty with interoception interfering with the ability to choose appropriate clothing for the weather outside, use the toilet in a timely manner, recognize the sensation of hunger, and similar important daily functions.

  26. I have had several students who are constantly in motion and cannot sit still long enough to pay attention to a lesson or finish a craft project. This not only makes it difficult for the student to learn, but is disruptive to the rest of the class.

  27. I have had several students who are constantly in motion and cannot sit still long enough to pay attention to a lesson or finish a craft project. This not only makes it difficult for the student to learn, but is disruptive to the rest of the class.

  28. I see a child with extreme oral seeking, to the point that EVERYTHING we attempt to use ends up in her mouth. If it is too big to fit in her mouth, she will lick it. This definitely interferes with her ability to function across all areas. We have tried chewelry, oral motor exercises, chewy foods (gummies), crunchy foods (pretzels), cold foods (popsicles). Heavy work, brushing, etc.

  29. I have seen tactile defensiveness greatly impact a child’s school day in all areas, especially transitioning in the busy hallways between classes and in the cafeteria.

  30. Sensory Seeking behaviors and in particular, oral sensory seeking. I find that some teachers have a hard time coming on board with recommendations to provide more appropriate items for oral input. Most are usually okay with gum and food items but not chewies, etc.

  31. Sensory seeking students! I do a lot of advocating for these students within their classroom reminding teachers to promote movement/heavy work prior to having these students attend to table top work.

  32. Children who are tactile defensive and are so fearful of being touched that they are always in a state of fight/flight and have trouble learning, developing relationships and regulating themselves.

  33. Children who are tactile defensive and are so fearful of being touched that they are always in a state of fight/flight and have trouble learning, developing relationships and regulating themselves.

  34. Vestibular and Proprioceptive input can really inhibit a child during a treatment session or while they are completing a task. If a child does not have awareness of their body in space, then they cannot properly perform the activity.

  35. Working in a preschool environment it can be difficult initially to determine if a child is experiencing sensory processing issues or if the experience is novel and they are reluctant to engage. Things I find are most common are reluctance to get hands “dirty”, sound sensitivity – especially during circle/music time, and a lack of body awareness in space.

  36. The over-responders and the sensory seekers however all children with sensory challenges are impacted daily in different activities and environments.

  37. It is so neat to see that mainstream America (and maybe other countries too) is finally figuring out what OT’s have known for years and that sensory input and responsiveness is a huge part of human behavior

  38. I see a lot of toddlers and young kids have decreased attention and decreased play skills because they are constantly looking for internal or external vestibular input and don’t know how to get it independently.

  39. Proprioception!! When a child’s body is constantly looking for input to know where it is, the child has no chance of being able to be in a focused mindset inductive to learning

  40. Interoception because a lot of my students have difficulty identifying body signals to stay regulated.

  41. Many clients on my caseload are sensory seekers. They are unable to attend to tasks due to high seeking behaviors!

  42. Proprioceptive and vestibular input are vital considerations for a child’s functioning in the classroom and school setting.

  43. I have seen many sensory processing responses that impede on a kiddo’s ability to participate in functional tasks. One example is stereotypy of the hands. When given an item or prompted to hold onto something, the hands perform patterns of extension, limiting the patients grasp on the item.

  44. The constant need for proprioception has been difficult for several kiddos I’ve seen and really affected their ability to complete functional tasks. I’ve had increased success with compression vests and deep pressure input. I am happy more light is being shed on sensory difficulties!

  45. I think what I have seen most commonly is prop. seekers being “always on the go” and seeking heavy input (crashing into things, falling onto the floor, etc.). This can really impact their day-to-day life, especially in the classroom. This is why OT is crucial in the school system in providing techniques that the teacher can use to allow the child to have a sensory outlet.

  46. tactile defensive children who act out toward others defensively and are mislabeled as aggressive; sensory seekers (proprioceptive, vestibular) who may be misdiagnosed as ADHD

  47. tactile defensive children who act out toward others defensively and are mislabeled as aggressive; sensory seekers (proprioceptive, vestibular) who may be misdiagnosed as ADHD

  48. I’ve seen tactile defensiveness impact daily function of a 4-yo kiddo. She would be late to preschool or need someone to stay back with her for bathroom trips as it was a long and difficult process to put on clothing. All of her clothing was very tight or very loose at to eliminate that unwanted light pressure, itchiness, or rubbing. It was so disheartening to see a child just trying to get through what some of us see as a simple part of our day.

  49. I’ve seen tactile defensiveness impact daily function of a 4-yo kiddo. She would be late to preschool or need someone to stay back with her for bathroom trips as it was a long and difficult process to put on clothing. All of her clothing was very tight or very loose at to eliminate that unwanted light pressure, itchiness, or rubbing. It was so disheartening to see a child just trying to get through what some of us see as a simple part of our day.

  50. Living in a state of fight, flight, frawn, freeze affects all processing of input as well as output.

  51. Living in a state of fight, flight, frawn, freeze affects all processing of input as well as output.

  52. I find it really hard to read what my grandson needs to get regulated in order to do tasks. Because he is self directed it is difficult to get him to do every day life functions without extra time for sensory input beforehand . I am hoping this book can help

  53. I find it really hard to read what my grandson needs to get regulated in order to do tasks. Because he is self directed it is difficult to get him to do every day life functions without extra time for sensory input beforehand . I am hoping this book can help

  54. I have seen an intense need for oral sensory input result in frequent biting/mouthing of both self and others to the point of skin breakdown. The child had difficulty communicating verbally because his hands and items were always in his mouth. It also impacts the ability to do activities due to frequent dysregulation.

  55. The visual system! I have a lot of students who seek visual input throughout the day and it makes it difficult for them to sustain visual attention to tasks.

  56. I think sensory seekers really struggle especially in the classroom setting when they are supposed to do table top work. Kids who are hypersensitive to sounds and touch also struggle during daily tasks.

  57. Proprioceptive for most of my kiddos. The one that really stands out to me was a friend that also had gustatory coupled with proprioceptive (along with others) which made it very difficult in the school setting as she was putting everything in her mouth. She had to constantly have eyes on her as she would eat mulch, chalk, play-doh, sand, etc. regardless of having a chewy to help give the input she so desperately was seeking.

  58. I’ve seen trouble with sensory seekers attending to task in school as well as engaging with classmates. Often times their need for sensory input causes disruptions with seated tasks and relationships with friends.

  59. I find the contents in this site very informative and useful specially for a a mother who has a child with special needs. The articles here helped me feel more confident in understanding the needs and the developmental journey of my child who has focal epilepsy, experiences seizures and has global developmental delay. I am glad to have chanced upon your FB page and now I am an ardent follower. Thank you very much and more power.

  60. I find the contents in this site very informative and useful specially for a a mother who has a child with special needs. The articles here helped me feel more confident in understanding the needs and the developmental journey of my child who has focal epilepsy, experiences seizures and has global developmental delay. I am glad to have chanced upon your FB page and now I am an ardent follower. Thank you very much and more power.

  61. The need for frequent proprioceptive input is challenging as it limits a child’s ability to sustain visual and auditory regard for their environment and impacts on fine motor control for completing tasks and acttivites.

  62. I have observed tactile defensiveness or sensory defensiveness as the most limiting to ADLs. This can impact dressing, eating, toileting, bathing, etc.

  63. Sensory seeking in proprioceptive, vestibular and tactile areas that keep children in constant motion with difficulty to sit and focus. Also see oral aversions to sensory input which cause kids to eat only specific textures or not at all.

  64. Sensory seeking in proprioceptive, vestibular and tactile areas that keep children in constant motion with difficulty to sit and focus. Also see oral aversions to sensory input which cause kids to eat only specific textures or not at all.

  65. Sensory seekers. For kids always on the go, it’s so hard them
    to stop and focus on the world around them.

  66. Sensory seekers. For kids always on the go, it’s so hard them
    to stop and focus on the world around them.

  67. I have seen auditory and tactile sensitivities which prevents the students feom participating in their main classrooms, at recess, especially when indoors, lunchtime in the cafeteria, and special events in schools, all important for social and daily functioning.

  68. I have seen auditory and tactile sensitivities which prevents the students feom participating in their main classrooms, at recess, especially when indoors, lunchtime in the cafeteria, and special events in schools, all important for social and daily functioning.

  69. Being thrown into teletherapy like most therapists this spring was a challenge. This blog was a lifesaver for ideas and information! Parent coaching and creating simple sensory break ideas using home materials was my go to for teletherapy! A creative challenge!

  70. The sensory seekers who have problems staying in one place to focus on work as well as the tactile defensive students who are so worried about the feel of the pencil, desk, or someone bumping into them that they can’t attend to tasks.

  71. Children seeking sensory experiences throughout the day appear to have the greatest difficulties attending to task and completing work.

  72. Proprioceptive input! One of my kiddos was a runner, so when walking to and from his classroom I often had to hold his hand to prevent him from running. He would then use that time to get proprioceptive input by pulling away from me to cause traction, often going as far as laying on the ground in hopes I would pull on his arms to help him up. Such a tough situation because I couldn’t safely provide sensory input in the way he wanted.

  73. Disruption with any of the sensory systems can be challenging for a student. However, I think those sensory seekers, particularly seeking proprioceptive and vesitbular input, can find it most challenging to get the input they need in order to be ready to learn.

  74. Disruption with any of the sensory systems can be challenging for a student. However, I think those sensory seekers, particularly seeking proprioceptive and vesitbular input, can find it most challenging to get the input they need in order to be ready to learn.

  75. My son struggles with sensory seeking, he just never stops it seems. And since he is always busy finding something to fulfill his need at the time, it makes it difficult to pay attention. As for myself, I can totally relate to him, I am also always seeking for something to chew on.

  76. There really are so many difficulties I see with Sensory Processing for my students. I think the hardest is the seekers who really need movement, and the students that are sound sensitive.

  77. I am an OT and a mom. I find for my own child that being overwhelmed from auditory input can really impede his functioning. If his younger brother is crying or screaming, he becomes very distressed. It’s hard to tend to both children at once, so I am trying to implement a system where he grabs a pair of headphones and listens to some relaxing music/nature sounds to block out the noise when it’s too much for him. This is definitely an area, I would want to improve. Another one for him is vestibular. Both of my children are sensitive to vestibular input and don’t really like playground swings. I would love to get to a point where they can enjoy these like other children do. Thanks so much for these giveaways! Besides for the fun, there is so much to learn, both from your posts and others’ comments.

  78. I am an OT and a mom. I find for my own child that being overwhelmed from auditory input can really impede his functioning. If his younger brother is crying or screaming, he becomes very distressed. It’s hard to tend to both children at once, so I am trying to implement a system where he grabs a pair of headphones and listens to some relaxing music/nature sounds to block out the noise when it’s too much for him. This is definitely an area, I would want to improve. Another one for him is vestibular. Both of my children are sensitive to vestibular input and don’t really like playground swings. I would love to get to a point where they can enjoy these like other children do. Thanks so much for these giveaways! Besides for the fun, there is so much to learn, both from your posts and others’ comments.

  79. Kiddos that have regulation issues and are sensitive to all environmental stimuli. This makes it difficult to focus and follow through with directions to complete tasks and usually result in behavioral issues.

  80. Kids that are sensory seeking, especially in regards to propioceptive and vestibular input, really affects their attention and participation. Also over-responsiveness to auditory and tactile input too

  81. Tactile defensive responses can really interfere with engagement in activities and building relationships

  82. I’ve found proprioception to be so hard for kiddos. It’s one of the more common reasons I’ve seen clients come for OT.

  83. I have a lot of examples how sensory processing difficulties affects a child’s daily life. I think the hardest is when sensory processing limitations has affected toileting training. I have clients that overly sensitive to the noise of the toilet flushing or they do not like the sensation of having their bottoms exposed when attempting to pass a bowel movement.

  84. My daughter is always on the go …. eats very little and constantly thinks she is going to vomit. Very challenging for me to figure out and help her.

  85. Modulation difficulties seem to be the hardest to figure out and treat. Kids who really have a mix of seeking, registration, sensitivities, and avoidance in all sensory areas in particular. Parent involvement is critical and having resources to help explain and strategize is really helpful.

  86. Modulation difficulties seem to be the hardest to figure out and treat. Kids who really have a mix of seeking, registration, sensitivities, and avoidance in all sensory areas in particular. Parent involvement is critical and having resources to help explain and strategize is really helpful.

  87. A lot of the kids I treat are hypo-responsive to their vestibular system, they are constantly moving with difficulties with sustained attention.

  88. A lot of the kids I treat are hypo-responsive to their vestibular system, they are constantly moving with difficulties with sustained attention.

  89. Kids who seek input. They are constantly being labeled as “naughty” or ADD in school. Increased understanding is slowly spreading though!

  90. Kids who seek input. They are constantly being labeled as “naughty” or ADD in school. Increased understanding is slowly spreading though!

  91. A sensory processing response that I have observed which has impacted the child’s ability to function in daily tasks are the notable avoiding demeanors and lack of interest in the activities.

  92. A sensory processing response that I have observed which has impacted the child’s ability to function in daily tasks are the notable avoiding demeanors and lack of interest in the activities.

  93. seeking input – vestibular and proprioceptive are ones I see often. Needing that constant movement can become distractive for others and can sometimes be a challenge to help the child be focused or follow directions.

  94. seeking input – vestibular and proprioceptive are ones I see often. Needing that constant movement can become distractive for others and can sometimes be a challenge to help the child be focused or follow directions.

  95. Thanks for all this wonderful information! I often see the sensory seekers getting into trouble in the classroom and being held in from recess due to misbehavior in the classroom. We need to educate our educators if students are missing their sensory breaks. Often our sensory seekers need more sensory activities throughout the day than others.

  96. Thank you for such informative posts, always helpful!!
    I’ve seen it all in the Peds clinic setting, vestibular & proprioceptive seekers, tactile aversions to clothing, oral defensiveness, avoiding foods & brushing teeth. Visual seeker & defensiveness, either so entranced with visual input they can’t be redirected, or becoming upset with seeing new visual input. Our sensory systems are incredibly powerful!

  97. Proprioception is a huge component in the children I see in therapy. This often guides their seeking or avoidance behaviors. Every treatment session I provide incorporates some form of sensory component based on the needs of the child. Most often times it is proprioceptive input.

  98. I see a lot of sensory seeking in most areas that interrupt the learning experience and other adults seeing theis as “bad” behaviors.

  99. I see a lot of sensory seeking in most areas that interrupt the learning experience and other adults seeing theis as “bad” behaviors.

  100. I have seen a sensory processing issue with a student in my classroom when all of the overhead lights were turned on. They would make a gentle humming sound, but that sound was a huge trigger for this boy. He would have to cover his ears and hide his head in his armpit. Once I turned the lights off, he was able to use his hands and arms appropriately to do work. I had to modify the lighting to accommodate his needs. Everybody has things that are hard to process. I have a hard time even thinking about holding chalk in my hands. The texture freaks me out, so I avoid it if possible.

  101. The most common is proprioceptive sense. As kids usually have difficulty in paying attention to task, experiencing fatigue while writing, using inappropriate prsessure or uneven spacing while writing, poor core,etc.

  102. Constantly seeking proprioceptive (&/o vestibular) input(s) seems to interfere the most with being able learn and engage successfully.

  103. I would say rough handling of peers and staff gets the kiddos into trouble when sometimes people don’t understand why :/

  104. I have definitely seen kiddos struggle with interoception and it inhibit their potty training and their ability to interpret their emotions contributing to their difficulties with emotional and self regulation.

  105. I find that each of the systems impact a child’s ability to perform functional tasks. Some students have over response or under response variables in one or more of the systems that impacts their ability.

  106. Interoception comes to mind today, after a session I just had with one of my kiddos! So hard to remain regulated if you don’t feel your best inside!

  107. I have seen being a sensory seeker limits function in activities as they always are seeking more and more input.

  108. Constantly seeking sensory input makes it difficult to focus and often results in the child being seen as an “instigator.”

  109. When a child holds their hands over their ears during circle time they are unable to hear and unable to do any hand motions.

  110. I see sensory seekers who can’t sustain attention long enough to stay focused and complete tasks.

  111. Students with proprioception sensory needs, as they can take longer to get settled due to needing more stimulation.

  112. I work with many kids on the spectrum. The most common trigger I see is frustration when they cannot perform a task sch as handwriting.

  113. Hyper-responsiveness of the olfactory sense in my toddler. He seems to have overreaction to olfactory sensation. For ex, when we are cooking in the kitchen while feeding him at the dining table. Whether grilling meat or cooking fish or there’s any strong cooking odor, he gets anxious and fidgety, the smell bothers him. He was so sensitive one time, he threw up his meal! Didn’t realize that could be a sensory processing issue until I read the sensory checklist above.

  114. I had a child that would seek out tactile input which presented in banging his head against the wall, twisting his hands together, squishing his food in his hands, and stuffing his food in his mouth.

  115. I have a student eho.constantly seeksovement input. He can only sit for a short amount of time amd would constantly stand up and run around the room with hands in his pants

  116. I have a few TK, K and 1st graders right now who have tactile sensitivity. It stops them from engaging in a lot of the sensorimotor activities bc they don’t want to touch the paint, play doh, shaving cream, etc.

  117. Oral motor is a big area for our little ones when we are working on feeding And introducing food.

  118. I worked with a child who was distracted by EVERYTHING which was really limiting when we were trying to do fine motor tasks. He would look up whenever someone moved or spoke somewhere else in the room. He was definitely over-responsive to auditory and visual input.

  119. I have worked with many kiddos who seek proprioceptive and vestibular input throughout the day and it greatly impacts their ability to complete daily tasks and maintain attention at school and at home. Thanks for all your great info in these articles!

  120. Great article! It was very thorough and went through the sensory processes in great detail 🙂
    My son has SPD and one thing we find hard to manage is his impulsiveness and habit of biting his index finger to self regulate. He of course wears chewry but sometimes he chews on that so much he forgets to talk! If he is angry with his lil brother for example he reacts by biting on his finger and head bump his head onto his sibling. He will do this with others if he is over tired as well! We find managing these actions pretty hard as we never know when he is going to do it.

    Thank you for all your advice and keep up with the great work:)

    Maria

  121. A lot of the kids I work with are hyperresponsive to sound, so they become easily distracted and forget what they are doing if there are a lot of people nearby.

  122. I think sensory seeking is the most difficult especially in classrooms that have alot of materials out and about.

  123. I have a lot of students who constantly seek various proprioceptive and vestibular input throughout their school day. This definitely affects their participation in class activities.

  124. I have a lot of students who constantly seek various proprioceptive and vestibular input throughout their school day. This definitely affects their participation in class activities.

  125. A children inability to attend to a task or a child’s ability to tolerate loud noises or busy environments

  126. Gravitational insecurity/proprioception – child had difficulty crossing all terrains (tile, carpet, grass, concrete ,etc); regardless if wearing shoes or not.

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sensory processing disorder checklist