The sensory powerhouses drive us to learn, grow, and expand. The sensory systems are designed to help us conquer the challenges of our world. However, when a powerhouse misfires, a child is faced with a chaotic world that is hard to understand and manage.

What are the Powerhouses?

Vestibular

What does it do?

    1. Responds to gravity and the constant flow of sensory information
    2. It lets us know where we are in space giving us a sense of direction
    3. It tells us if we are moving
    4. It stabilizes our eyes
    5. It’s the boss and regulates all our other systems

    What happens if this system misfires?

      1. A child will always need to move, tumble, and fall
      2. Child may not understand heights; will not be safe
      3. Child will cry easily
      4. Can’t judge how close they are to others
      5. Easily triggered to fight, run, or freeze
      6. Will sit to go through doorways
      7. Will not allow head to be tilted, e.g., to wash hair

    Proprioception

    What does it do?

      1. This system takes in all of our information regarding our muscles and joints
      2. Tells us how our body’s parts relate to each other
      3. Tells us how to grade our muscle movements
      4. How fast, slow, soft, or hard to accomplish a task
      5. Develops our body map
      6. Helps us with speech production and planning how to move our body through our environment

    What happens if this system misfires?

      1. Child is always clumsy and uncoordinated
      2. Shaky and disorganized letters, sloppy work, poor body awareness
      3. Easily fatigued
      4. Needs increased concentration to move body
      5. Banging head/hand on purpose
      6. Leaning on others for support
      7. Love roughhousing
      8. Stubborn and uncooperative

    Tactile

    What does it do?

      1. Keeps the brain organized by processing touch information
      2. Develops awareness of self
      3. Gives body information about how something feels: soft, hot, cold, rough
      4. Light touch is alerting
      5. Deep pressure touch is organizing
      6. Forms our concept of our world

    What happens if this system misfires?

      1. Child may not want to touch or be aware of touch
      2. Excessive reaction to tags and clothing
      3. Can only give touch, can’t receive it
      4. Consistently chewing on clothes
      5. Child has no awareness they are hurt, bruised, or bleeding
      6. Can’t orient to touch or position of clothing

    If you think your child may be struggling with sensory issues, please reach out.

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