Circle time can be challenging for most 4 to 5 year old children from time to time. When a child has recurring difficulty with staying seated, touching other children or is in constant motion, he/she could have an underlying sensory processing issues.
A child displaying sensory issues could have a form of sensory processing disorder or SPD. Sensory processing disorders arise when the brain has trouble organizing information it receives from the senses. Sensory processing disorders are broken into 4 distinct categories:
Over Responsive: Children who are more sensitive to sensory stimulation than most people. These children may have difficulty falling asleep, don’t like being held or rocked, display aggressive behavior, and have dramatic responses to noise, smells, feeling textures, temperatures, movement etc.
Under Responsive: Children who are often quiet and self contained. These children may react with indifference, enjoy playing by themselves, or be unmotivated to play with others or at all.
Sensory Craving: Children who display socially unacceptable behaviors which may be perceived as bad behavior. These children can be hyperactive, climb on a person or try to invade personal space, be restless or fidgety, or are constantly touching things.
Motor Challenges: Children who have difficulty with coordination. Children with motor challenges may be seen as clumsy or accident prone, be slow to reach developmental milestones, have difficulty dressing/playing catch or show lack of coordination when compared to children their age.
Some common signs of Sensory Processing Disorder may include:
- Constantly enjoys crashing, bumping, and rough-housing
- Constantly touching objects and people
- Trouble taking turns
- Gets angy or explosive after being still for a short period of time
- Makes disrupting sounds or noises
- Likes to smell objects or toys
- Hard to calm when upset
- Slumps while sitting in a chair or on the floor
- Difficulty with coordination
- Gets upset moving form quite activities to louder group based activities
- Has overly fearful reactions to unexpected noises
- Afraid to try new things or is overly cautious
- Avoids group activities such as play or parties
- Only wears limited clothing or doesn’t like certain fabrics
If you are concerned with the development of your child OR would like to get more information regarding sensory processing disorder, please contact our office to speak with one of our licensed Occupational Therapists at 704-821-0568.