online occupational therapy

Sensory Processing

Tegan Court, Occupational Therapist

What is Sensory Processing?

Essentially this term is used to refer to how our body interprets and processing information from around us. It is the way the brain received, organises and responds to particular pieces of sensory information. This is important so that we make informed judgements on how to respond next and improve our performance in whatever daily activity we are engaging in.

When a person is able to master this process, the result will be demonstrate by appropriate skill mastery, behaviour, attention and self regulation (i.e controlling their physical and emotional response). All the seven senses need to work together to have efficient and effective sensory processing. If the sense are not working together for someone it can impact on daily tasks, perhaps making it difficult to attend and concentrate.

The Seven Senses

  1. Visual (sight) – this is a person’s ability to interpret and understand what is seen.
  2. Auditory (sound) – this is the a person’s ability to interpret and understand what is heard.
  3. Gustatory (taste) – this is the person information to interpret information received through the tongue and mouth.
  4. Olfactory (smell) – this is the persons ability to interpret smells as safe of harmful.
  5. Tactile (touch) – this is ability to interpret information coming into the body from the skin.
  6. Proprioceptive sense (body awareness) – this is a person ability to interpret information from their muscles and joints to know where their body is in space.
  7. Vestibular (movement) – this is the person’s ability to interpret information relating to movement and balance (this comes from the inner ear).

When someone has difficulties with their sensory processing they might demonstrate difficulties with their attention and concentration, behaviours, body awareness (bumping into things), play skills and regulating their emotions.

How can Umbo help?

Our occupational therapists can complete a sensory processing assessment for you/your child to get a better picture of sensory needs and prove specific support and strategies.