Sep 26 , 2022
Fact: One in six kids experiences sensory symptoms that may interfere with everyday activities.
Brain development and sensory deprivation!
Children who are deprived of regular sensory stimulation have a delay in their development. Studies today underline the importance of touch in every child’s cognitive development, and the lack of it is commonly related to physical, mental, and emotional delay in development. It is not new to us that our brain’s function depends on the environment. Also, it is in our nature to adapt to our environment.
The brain needs QUALITY for each stimulus: touch, taste, hearing, sight, and movement. Each human body was designed to develop in a multi-sensory natural environment, where all experiences occur.
Early in life, the brain creates the foundation, those essential elements that the future adult will rely upon his whole life. The quality of those basic patterns depends directly on sensory stimulation or deprivation.
Signs to look for!
What is sensory stimulation in the first years? Well, it starts from simply touching the little one, breastfeeding him to being held and affectionate with the baby, and providing him with rich multi-sensory experiences. Depriving the brain of his sensory needs damages PERMANENTLY his function and development.
Dramatic move swings and tantrums! What do they have to do with sensory deprivation?
Children who might have sensory problems often react strongly to loud noises, lights, yells when getting wet, or sudden changes. Other kids find clothes uncomfortable, have trouble fastening their buttons, zipping their hoodies, or don’t want to put on their hats.
These kids simply find it hard to process the information from their senses (hear, touch, smell, taste, etc.).
They can be either hypersensitive or hyposensitive. Hypersensitive kids don’t like strong sensory stimulation, while hyposensitive kids want too much sensory stimulation. The “grocery store tantrums” often happen because little ones get overly stimulated by the environment, from noises, light, and crowded places. Hyposensitive kids usually love to jump, bump and search for pressure like tight hugs. But for hypersensitive children, understanding where their body is in relation to the objects from their environments is quite tricky. Often, they are clumsy and fear climbing, jumping, or riding a bike.
How can you help your little one?
Let’s not overdo it! Not all children who don’t love hugs or who love jumping all day are sensory deprived. Kids are kids, parents are parents, and they usually sense a problem when they see it. It’s normal for kids to test their limits both ways, some being courageous while others being too shy or fearing new experiences. For all kids, no matter what, some adequate sensory stimulation will help them process the environment and ease the stress.
Sensory stimulation done right:
Daily interactions between the child and their caregivers. This involves touching, hearing their voices, feeding, carrying, bathing, and changing them (diapers and clothes).
Use sensory toys according to his age. Sensory toys should help kids develop motor skills, improving concentration and focus while being fun. These toys help children naturally interact with their world, minimizing anxiety, improving language skills, and helping with socialization. Sensory toys are beneficial for all kids, even for those with sensory disabilities, sensory processing disorders, or children with autism. You can try kinetic sand, a ball pit, fidget toys, busy boards, or musical instruments.
Sensory stimulation helps children engage with their world and contributes to their growth and development. Using the proper stimulation will process and respond accordingly to any sensory incitement from their environment.