|

Sensory Responsiveness

  Underreactive/
Hyposensitive
Modulated Overreactive/
Defensive/
Hypersensitive
What's happening in the nervous system Nervous system inhibits sensory message, resulting in low or no arousal. Sensory input registers too little or not at all. Nervous system registers and modulates incoming sensory messages well. Nervous system facilitates sensory input message, resulting in inappropriately high arousal. Sensory input registers "too loud."
Outward behavior Child tends to be passive, doesn't react quickly to stimuli. Child tends to have low muscle tone, a flat affect (not animated), and prefer sedentary activities. Interacts age-appropriately with people and objects. Child tends to be on guard to protect against noxious sensory stimuli. She may exhibit fight-or-flight behaviors (acting out) due to perceived threats to her safety.
How a child may compensate (Behavioral compensations can be really confusing: that's why you need to do your detective work with an OT to figure out what's really going on.) Sometimes, an underaroused child may rev up his engine and be very active to keep his nervous system primed. So, paradoxically, a hyposensitive child can "look" like a hypersensitive child. Child may occasionally be over- or understimulated, especially when tired or hungry, but is usually able to tolerate a wide variety of sensory experiences without unusual reactions. Child may try to block out overwhelming sensory input by shutting down and tuning out. An overreactive child can look like a withdrawn, inactive child.
|

From Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsey Biel, M.A., OTR/L and Nancy Peske. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here or on the book cover.


highlights

Happy Surfing! 5 Safe Search Engines for Kids
These safe search engines for kids offer pre-screened sites and age-appropriate filters and content, so your child can have the freedom to browse the Internet while you have peace of mind that he's safe online.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

Best School Supplies of 2015
It's time to stock up on the latest and greatest school supplies! Make sure your child has all the trendy accessories and must-have classroom staples he needs.

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks