Parents Learning Together
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
- Proprioception (movement)
- Vestibular (balance)
- Interoception (internal sensations)
- 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.