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154 S. Livingston Ave, Suite 204   bullet   Livingston, NJ 07039   bullet   973. 535. 5010  

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Sensory processingGross motor / Motor PlanningFine motor / HandwritingVisual spatial / Perceptual motorOral sensory / Oral motorSound therapiesInteractive metronomeCranioSacral TherapyConsultationsPrimitive Reflex Integration
Sensory processing

Sensory processing 1As occupational therapists, we often see children whose struggles in their daily lives are described as “bad behaviors” or “oppositional”. Children who are finicky eaters, resistant to getting dressed, have trouble sitting still, are grouchy at birthday parties and family gatherings, break things easily, spill things, bump into others, are loud, messy, or too close, and other signs of irritability may in fact have Sensory Processing difficulties.Sensory processing 2

During the past two decades, there has been increased understanding that some children (and adults) may be more bothered by, or under reactive to, sensation. Children learn about their bodies and the world around them through the five sensory systems of touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste, as well as two hidden senses (proprioception and the vestibular senses) that affect how we move, increase our awareness of our bodies and help us have controlled and coordinated movements.  Occupational therapists are specifically trained to explore underlying sensory processing difficulties and their impact on your child’s life.

Sensory processing 3These are some of the behaviors we see that suggest children may need more or different kinds of sensory stimulation (“sensory diet”) to experience their surroundings and their own bodies in a more comfortable way:

  • Activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
  • Difficulty regulating behavior, including sleep and feeding
  •  Low arousal, over arousal, tantrums
  •  Difficulty making transitions from one situation to another
  • Inability to unwind or calm self
  •  Overly sensitive or under reactive to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
  •  Difficulty with tag, fabrics and clothing in general
  •  Holding hands over eyes or ears
  •  Avoidance of foods, smells, texture
  •  Avoidance of crowds or noisy settings such as birthday parties
  •   Avoidance of, or craving for, particular materials
  •   Easily distracted
  •   Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
  •   Impulsive, lacking in self control
  •   Poor self concept
  •   Delays in speech, language, or motor skills
  •   Delays in academic achievement
  •   Social and/or emotional problems
  • Sensory processing 4  Disengagement

At Pediatric Potentials, our pediatric occupational therapists can evaluate your child from this sensory standpoint. We needs to address these “red flag issues” if they are getting in the way of your child’s enjoyment or progress in typical settings. We provide home and school accommodations to address sensory processing difficulties.


SN Pediatric Potentials, Inc.   bullet   154 S. Livingston Ave, Suite 204   bullet   Livingston, NJ 07039   bullet   973.535.5010   bullet   director@pediatricpotentialsnj.com


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