The Sensory Systems
aWork together

aGive us accurate picture of the world and our place in it

aThe brain uses sensory in...
The Sensory Systems
1. Tactile System cont.
The Sensory Systems
1. Tactile System cont.
Primary function of the tactile sy...
aMore input Needed Behaviors
(passive under responsive or active seekers)




aAvoiding Behaviors
(over responsive)
The Se...
aMore input Needed Behaviors
(passive under responsive or active seekers)
aAvoiding Behaviors
(over responsive)
The Sensor...
•novelty triggers Norepinephrine
•contributes to the activation of fight/ flight/ fright response
•use proprioception/ joi...
a   Smelling (gustatory/ olfactory): provide strong flavors as cinnamon/ lemon/ peppermint

Sensory Behaviors and
Sensory ...
•Auditory: use soft voice/ slower speech, familiar, rhythm sounds, 60 beats per minute,
rain stick


Calming Activities co...
•Vestibular:   head inverted, rapid/ jerky/ angular changing directions movement: twirl,
roll…

•Olfactory:   arousing sce...
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Sensory Presentation

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Sensory Presentation

  1. 1. The Sensory Systems aWork together aGive us accurate picture of the world and our place in it aThe brain uses sensory info in an organized way Sensory Processing aIs the receiving and perceiving of sensory info aUsually integration of sensory info is done without effort aFunction of sensation is to aid in perception, the control of movement, and maintenance of arousal Sensory Processing aComponents of Sensory Processing 1. Sensory modulation 2. Sensory discrimination 3. Praxis Sensory Processing Processes 1. Registration 2. Orientation 3. Interpretation 4. Organization of a response 5. Execution of a response Sensory Processing Problems aPossible causes and theories: •Do not adequately receive or process information from these sensory systems as different wiring •Genetics: quirkiness within the family tree •Prematurity: immature/ disorganized nervous system •Birth trauma, medical procedures, medically fragile all put one more at risk •Deprivation •Problems coexisting with other conditions The Sensory Systems 1. Tactile System aLargest and first system to develop aTactile receptors throughout the body aThis is the primary map of ME (homunculus) aTouch is important as an embryo and after birth aTouch gives us info and puts the boundaries in ME
  2. 2. The Sensory Systems 1. Tactile System cont. The Sensory Systems 1. Tactile System cont. Primary function of the tactile system is to help one feel comfortable with self and environment aDiscriminative aProtective The Sensory Systems Tactile System Problems aMore input Needed Behaviors (passive under responsive or active seekers) aAvoiding Behaviors (over responsive) The Sensory Systems 2. Vestibular System aIt is located within the inner ear and has strong ties to the auditory and visual systems aIt is the primary organizer and modulator of sensory input for self regulation aSystem is needed for balance, postural stability, muscle tone, use vision, plan actions, move, calm and regulate behavior The Sensory Systems 2. Vestibular System cont. aThis input can either quiet, stimulate or organize one’s activity and alertness level aIt is the strongest sensation aIt puts the ME in my space The Sensory Systems 2. Vestibular System cont. Functions of the vestibular system: aProtective aDiscriminate The Sensory Systems Vestibular System Problems
  3. 3. aMore input Needed Behaviors (passive under responsive or active seekers) aAvoiding Behaviors (over responsive) The Sensory Systems 3. Proprioception System aIs the unconscious awareness of body position and important for postural stability, motor planning and grading of movements aReceptors located in muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue aFunction of vestibular system and proprioception system overlap as the prop. receptors respond to movement and gravity aCan not “overdose” on proprioceptive input The Sensory Systems 3. Proprioception System cont. aCertain prop. senses help with brain regulated arousal states and many of us use different strategies for self-regulation aProprioception and self-stimulation/ self-injurious behaviors aProp. input can filter out other unpleasant sensations aPuts ME in the picture- usable body map The Sensory Systems Proprioceptive System problems a More input Needed Behaviors (passive under responsive or active seekers) aAvoiding Behaviors (over responsive) The Sensory Systems 4. Auditory System The Sensory Systems Auditory System Problems
  4. 4. aMore input Needed Behaviors (passive under responsive or active seekers) aAvoiding Behaviors (over responsive) The Sensory Systems 5. Visual System The Sensory Systems 5. Visual System Problems aMore input Needed Behaviors (passive under responsive or active seekers) aAvoiding Behaviors (over responsive) The Sensory Systems 6. Olfactory System The Sensory Systems 6. Olfactory System Problems aMore input Needed Behaviors (passive under responsive or active seekers) aAvoiding Behaviors (over responsive) The Sensory Systems 7. Gustatory System The Sensory Systems 7. Gustatory Problems aMore input Needed Behaviors (passive under responsive or active seekers) aAvoiding Behaviors (over responsive) A little about Neurotransmitters/ Neurochemicals aDopamine: Activation chemical: makes us want to move, helps us feel focused, enables us to concentrate •is the pleasure chemical, is the chemical of the emotional brain center •pressure touch with TLC enhances dopamine the fastest A little about Neurotransmitters/ Neurochemicals aSerotonin: this is the master modulator, makes us feel that all is okay and we are safe/ content •responsible for working memory and for ME in the picture •gets depleted under stress, can go into shutdown •proprioception/ joint input/ heavy work enhances Serotonin which can enhance Dopamine A little about Neurotransmitters/ Neurochemicals cont. aNorepinephrine: chemical for selective attention
  5. 5. •novelty triggers Norepinephrine •contributes to the activation of fight/ flight/ fright response •use proprioception/ joint compression/ heavy work to enhance activation of Norepinephrine Arousal levels and sensory Arousal Levels and Sensory cont. aTypes of arousal levels: •low •optimal/ just right •high: often respond to sensory stimuli with a strong response, frequently in fright/ flight/ fight response, may remove self to get away/ may scream in fright with too much input athose that spend more time in high and low arousal maybe constantly seeking or avoiding input to regulate Sensory Behaviors and Sensory Strategies aBehaviors we note with students often are proprioceptive: to get ME in the picture? To get the chemistry needed? asensory strategies will help with the chemistry (neurochemicals) aHand flapping (proprioception): provide hand fidgets, wall/ chair push -ups, weighted vest/ blanket Sensory Behaviors and Sensory Strategies cont. aHead banging/ ear flicking (vestibular /proprioception/deep tactile/ rhythm): provide strong movement/ proprioception as swinging, swimming, biking, use ball/ mini-tramp, chair/ wall pushups aHumming/ other vocalizations (proprioception/ vibration/ auditory): provide mini- massager to mouth/ face/ ear, blow toys, calming music Sensory Behaviors and Sensory Strategies cont. aExcessive mouthing/ chewing on non-food items (proprioception/ tactile): chewy, crunchy-chewy foods, strong flavors of food, battery toothbrush/ massager aMasturbation (proprioception/ tactile deep pressure): ball, seat inserts, jumping and crashing, weighted vest/ belt aSpinning self (vestibular/ visual): provide strong rotary movement on sit n spin, hold hands while person spins
  6. 6. a Smelling (gustatory/ olfactory): provide strong flavors as cinnamon/ lemon/ peppermint Sensory Behaviors and Sensory Strategies cont. aComplains about performing hygiene, clothing and food textures (tactile defensiveness): provide deep touch input the whole body as wrapped in blanket/ sheet, heavy work input, analyze clothing and food textures, social stories aRocking –standing (proprioception, vestibular, rhythm): appropriate rhythmical activities, seat inserts/ ball, movement breaks aFecal smearing (vestibular, proprioception, tactile) very primitive reaction to identify who/ where they are: heavy work, movement, deep pressure activities aLunging (vestibular, proprioception): joint compression, heavy work, movement activities Sensory Behaviors and Sensory Strategies cont. aRocking in chair/ seat (vestibular/proprioception, rhythm): provide movement breaks, sit on cushion/ ball, play/ sing rhythmical music aTeeth grinding (proprioception, auditory, vibration): mini massagers, battery toothbrush, blow toys, chewies, crunchy and chewy foods aPhysical strategies for those that are more active/ difficulty sitting: cushion/ ball, varied positions as on stomach/ standing (with marked off space), rocking chair, sit in small tent/ quiet area Sensory Behaviors and Sensory Strategies cont. aFor those distracted by noises/ difficulty with auditory processing: ear plugs/ headphones, simplify directions, use gestures to reinforce verbal messages, visual assists aDecrease distractions for those who are sensitive/ easily distracted: minimize all objects around, store unnecessary items, turn lights on low, put work in hallway aAttention getters for those who have difficulty attending: plan language activities after gross motor time, preferential seating, use proximity and touch to help focus, soft voice with expression, open windows/ turn on fan Calming Activities aFor those that are over active: •Visual: dim lights, unchanging visual stimuli, quiet corner/space, preferential seating looking away from doors/ windows
  7. 7. •Auditory: use soft voice/ slower speech, familiar, rhythm sounds, 60 beats per minute, rain stick Calming Activities cont. •Tactile: items that are simple shapes, smooth, warm, familiar, soothing, wrap snugly within blanket, neutral warmth is relaxing, being squished in a mat, steamroller Calming Activities cont. •Proprioception: provide activities that have slow push-pull, slow stretch, wall/ chair/ hand push-ups Calming Activities cont. •Vestibular: slow, rhythmical/ predictable movement as swinging/ rocking/ swaying •Olfactory: relaxing scents as lavender and vanilla •Gustatory/ Tactile: sweet tastes and sucking are also relaxing Alerting Activities aTo wake up the system or provide one with what they seek aAlways provide some type of organizing activity afterward (proprioception usually) so does not become over aroused aRemember: Proprioception and heavy work are the good modulators of sensory input •Visual: bright lights, unexpected lights, bright colors, red-yellow shades •Auditory: music with erratic, fast beat, unexpected noises Alerting Activities cont. •Tactile: light touch, unexpected touch, rough textures, intricate shapes, cold temperatures •Proprioception: sudden stopping, jerky/ quick/ fast / unexpected/ variable change
  8. 8. •Vestibular: head inverted, rapid/ jerky/ angular changing directions movement: twirl, roll… •Olfactory: arousing scents as peppermint • Gustatory: use spicy / sour flavors and spices, crunchy / chewy foods Organizing Activities Classroom heavy work activities: -Carrying heavy objects -Pulling self using rope when on scooterboard -Pulling heavy crate, bolster -Pushing weighted ball, teacher in wheeled chair –Erasing boards –Using play dough/ clay –Constructive toys –Squeezy fidget toys –Hammer toys Classroom heavy work activities: -Working on vertical surfaces -Adding weights to chairs, boxes, etc. -Rolling, crawling up inclines -Caterpillar tunnel made of lycra -Body sox made of lycra -Stretching -Tug of war, rough housing and wrestling with structure -Lying on blanket, being swung, then crash into pillows -Movements as wheelbarrow walk, row, row your boat, animal walks, crawling Summary Equipment: www.FunandFunction.com www.integrations.com www.theraproducts.com www.therapyshoppe.com www.sensoryinterventions.com www.cozycalm.com www.beanblanket.com www.southpawenterprises.com

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