Friday, March 31, 2006

Understanding Sensory Pathways

Recently I read an article about working with sensory UNDER or OVER reactive children. I found it very interesting and helpful, I though you might to.

Dr. Stanley I Greenspan is co-author of THE IRREDUCIBLE NEEDS OF CHILDREN. He says it is first most important that we appreciate how each child's sensory system is working.

We comfortably notice and label children who are over reactive to stimuli as "sensitive" - Some children find loud or high frequency sounds upsetting. In the Kindermusik environment we see this most often with jingle bells, glockenspiels or triangles. Levels of bright light can seem harsh for some while sudden movements in space such as swinging can be uncomfortable for sensitive children.

We DON'T often notice the opposite tendencies. Instead of over reactive some children are UNDER REACTIVE. Sensations don't register strongly so the children seek them out. Kids who are under reactive to touch may want to bang into things or other people, a child who is under reactive to sound will seek it out by creating loud noises.

Understanding that all sensory pathways can be either relatively sensitive or insentitive can adjust how we approach each child's behavior. Every child deserves to be understood, not judged in realtion to their individual sensory pathyways. Dr. Greenspan notes, "far too often I see children who have been misdiagnosed as having severe problems, when the individual differences in their sensory systems have just gone unrecognized.

To read the entire article click HERE

No comments: