Sometimes, children have quirky behaviors. These behaviors can be typical kid behaviors, like playing with their food or talking in silly voices when playing. But if your child’s quirky behavior is always walking on their toes, gagging at certain foods, or never being messy, then those behaviors may actually be signs of Sensory Processing Disorder. A lot of parents have never heard of SPD, so they are not actively looking for it. If your child displays any of the following sensory red flags, consider having our team of specialists conduct a developmental screening.
If your child is afraid of playing on playground equipment, swinging on the swings, or roughhousing, then they may be trying to avoid vestibular or proprioceptive input. The vestibular and proprioceptive systems control balance and muscular tension, respectively.
While not always a sensory issue, gagging at the sight, taste, and smell of foods can be a sign that your child’s oral system is being overwhelmed.
Prefers Tight Clothing
Some children prefer to wear tight clothing or layers of heavy clothing. The stimulation provided by tight or heavy clothing provides proprioceptive input. This can actually be calming and help to engage focus.
Trouble Listening to Directions
While it is normal for a child to occasionally ignore directions, if this becomes a frequent and recurring issue, it may be due to your child’s auditory system failing to process sounds.
Walking on Toes
Sometimes, children will walk on their toes frequently to reduce the sensations on their feet. Walking on toes frequently can also be a way to put more pressure on ankles, which provide proprioceptive input. There may be other reasons that your child is frequently walking on their toes; be sure to talk to a professional for a diagnosis.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.