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Archive for January, 2024

Self-Regulation and Sensory Processing

Self-regulation refers to one’s ability to monitor and adjust their level of alertness, emotions and actions in response to various cues from their body or the environment. There are 3 neurological components that need to work together: Emotional, Cognitive, and Sensory.

Children are learning self-regulation skills and benefit from the support of caregivers as they learn to understand and respond to cues from their body and environment. This support is called co-regulation!

Sensory Regulation: The ability to select and process sensory information in order to plan and perform expected behaviors.

Sensory Dysregulation: When the body is out of balance due to the sensory environment (i.e., unexpected loud noise).

Sensory Processing: Taking in, understanding, and using sensory information to perform daily activities.

We have 8 sensory systems

  1. Touch
  2. Vision
  3. Hearing
  4. Taste
  5. Smell
  6. Proprioception (movement)
  7. Vestibular (balance)
  8. Interoception (internal sensations)

Activities to Support Sensory Processing

    • Have your child explore different sensory tools when they are calm (eg, playdoh, shaving cream, massages or tickles)
    • Have adults or peers demonstrate using these sensory tools
    • Create a sensory space in the home or classroom where the different
      sensory tools are available.
    • Some sensory activities to try: messy play including finger painting, playing barefoot in the grass, blowing bubbles or a whistle.
    • Discuss sensory needs with an Occupational Therapist.


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