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© 2009-12 Hopscotch Children's Therapy Centre | Designed by minimoko

Practical guide for early signs of sensory processing disorder in children. more...

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CHECKLIST FOR SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (0-6 MONTHS) – SENSORY MODULATION DISORDER (SMD)

  • child resists being cuddled
  • child avoids touch
  • child has difficulty breastfeeding
  • child has difficulty with sucking, chewing, or swallowing
  • child doesn't tolerate new foods
  • child avoids putting toys in mouth
  • child avoids exploring toys with mouth
  • child gags or vomits when objects are placed in mouth
  • child becomes distressed when changing diapers
  • child becomes distressed when having a bath
  • child seems unaware of dirty diapers
  • child is unaware of people around him
  • child cannot tolerate change to routines/ schedules
  • child has difficulty getting to sleep
  • child is easily agitated and irritable compared to same age children
  • child seems unaware of noise
  • child takes long to respond to familiar voices
  • child startles easily at familiar sounds
  • child seems not to be paying attention
  • child avoids eye contact
  • child avoids looking at toys
  • child is overly bothered when exposed to light
  • child requires more support for sitting
  • child becomes upset when placed on back
  • child becomes upset when lifted
  • child dislikes head tipped back
  • child cries when moved
     

CHECKLIST FOR SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (7-36 MONTHS) – SENSORY MODULATION DISORDER

  • child withdraws from situations
  • child takes long time to respond to familiar voices
  • child startles easily
  • child is distracted in noisy environments
  • child takes long time to respond when name is called
  • child enjoys looking at spinning objects
  • child avoids eye contact
  • child takes long to adapt to daylight
  • child resists being held
  • child becomes agitated when having hair washed and face wiped
  • child resists being cuddled
  • child becomes upset with messy play
  • child does not realise when face or hands are dirty
  • child has difficulty with feeding
  • child avoids physical activities
  • child seems weak or “heavy”
  • child becomes upset when placed on back
  • child cries when is moved
  • child chews on nonfood objects
  • child mouths objects excessively
  • child avoids certain food textures
  • child refuses to drink from cup
     

CHECKLIST FOR SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (ALL AGES) – SENSORY MODULATION DISORDER (SMD)
 

1. Red flags for Tactile Dysfunction

The Child with Tactile Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • avoids being touched on the face
  • dislikes being held
  • has difficulty with grooming (cutting hair and nails)
  • dislikes having hair washed
  • dislikes taking a shower
  • may react aggressively when touched unexpectedly
  • dislikes when touched even in a friendly way
  • dislikes being kissed
  • avoids messy play
  • avoids going barefoot
  • prefers long sleeves and pants even when the weather is hot
  • is excessively ticklish
  • withdraws from situations
  • avoids sitting close to other children
     

2. Red flags for Vestibular Dysfunction

The Child with Vestibular Dysfunction – high tolerance to movement has some of the following Symptoms:

  • seems “on the go”
  • has difficulty sitting still
  • needs to keep moving in order to function
  • has difficulty paying attention
  • craves intense movement experiences such as jumping on bed and furniture
  • takes excessive risks during play
  • seems accident-prone
  • does not get dizzy easily
  • enjoys spinning for long periods of time

The Child with Vestibular Dysfunction –Gravitational Insecurity has some of the following Symptoms:

  • becomes anxious when feet leave the ground
  • has a great fear of falling
  • is fearful of climbing
  • avoids playground equipment
  • dislikes having head upside down or tilted backwards
  • avoids jumping activities
  • is very cautious when going up and down stairs
  • seems slow at new movements
  • avoids to walk along uneven surfaces
     

3. Red flags for Proprioceptive Dysfunction

The Child with Proprioceptive Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • has difficulty with body awareness
  • has difficulty planning new movements
  • has difficulty knowing where his body is in relation to others and objects
  • chews constantly on objects
  • stamps feet on the floor when walking
  • deliberately crashes into objects
  • holds pencils too lightly
  • presses down on paper when writing
  • has difficulty with handwriting and drawing
  • uses a lot of force when playing with toys and may break them
  • has difficulty lifting objects
     

4. Red flags for Visual Processing Dysfunction

The Child with Visual Processing Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • staying within lines when colouring or writing
  • complains of seen double or blurred
  • has difficulty putting puzzles together
  • has difficulty copying from books
  • has hard time finding something in a drawer
  • has difficulty following a moving object
  • omits words when reading
  • may seem “disorientated”
  • has difficulty with fine motor tasks
  • does not understand concepts such as right/ left, up/down
  • reverses letters and numbers
  • is uncomfortable by moving objects and people
     

5. Red flags for Auditory Processing Dysfunction

The Child with Auditory Processing Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • is easily distracted with noise
  • has difficulty paying attention
  • seems to misunderstand what is said
  • becomes upset in noisy places
  • seems difficult to understand when speaking
  • has difficulty looking and listening at the same time
  • speaks in a loud voice
  • has a poor vocabulary
  • has difficulty with reading
  • covers ears to protect from sound
     

6. Red flags for Olfactory (Sense of Smell) Dysfunction

The Child with Olfactory Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • reacts negatively to, or dislikes smells that other children do not notice
  • refuses to eat certain foods because of their smell
  • is a picky eater
  • is nauseated by bathroom odours
  • is bothered/irritated by smell of perfume or cologne
  • is bothered by smell in supermarket
  • may refuse to play with toys because of the way they smell
     

7. Red flags for Gustatory (Sense of Taste) Dysfunction

The Child with Gustatory Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • gags easily with food textures
  • avoids certain tastes
  • is a picky eater
  • craves certain foods
  • may chew on or lick nonfood objects
  • mouths objects
  • has difficulty with sucking, chewing, and swallowing
     

8. Social and Emotional responses

The Child with Sensory Modulation Disorder will exhibit some of the following Social/ Emotional responses:

  • low self-esteem
  • low self-confidence
  • seems anxious
  • has difficulty tolerating changes in routines
  • has strict routines
  • has difficulty playing with other children
  • is getting upset easily
  • does not persist with tasks/ gives up easily
  • is stubborn or uncooperative
  • has frequent temper tantrums
  • has difficulty making friends
  • does not express emotions
  • needs adult guidance to play
  • ask for adult reassurance
  • has difficulty interacting with other children
  • jumps from one activity to another
     

CHECKLIST FOR SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (ADOLESCENTS & ADULTS) – SENSORY MODULATION DISORDER (SMD)

  • is afraid of heights
  • avoids escalators/ or elevators
  • gets dizzy easily (eg. when driving)
  • bumps into things
  • feels clumsy
  • keeps the shades down
  • take long time to adjust to daylight
  • is bothered by bright lights
  • becomes frustrated when looking for things
  • doesn’t notice when people come into the room
  • is bothered in a busy environment (eg. Supermarket)
  • is constantly touching things or others
  • is bothered by certain fabrics
  • doesn’t like having hair cut
  • avoids standing close to others
  • doesn’t notice when face or hands are dirty
  • has difficulty working on two or more tasks at the same time
  • seems slower when carrying out tasks
  • has difficulty paying attention
  • has difficulty concentrating
  • gets frustrated with changes
  • startles easily at unexpected noises
  • makes noises for noise sake
  • is distracted with movement around
  • stays away from crowds
  • needs instructions to be repeated several times
  • doesn’t smell things that others do
  • only eats familiar foods
  • avoids certain food textures and temperatures
     

CHECKLIST FOR SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (ALL AGES) – SENSORY BASED MOTOR DISORDER (SBMD) – DYSPRAXIA

Red flags for dyspraxia

The Child with Dyspraxia has some of the following Symptoms:

  • was slow/ late to sit up, roll, crawl, walk, and/or run
  • appears clumsy
  • has difficulty with motor activities that require more than one steps
  • has trouble coming up with new ideas
  • chooses the same play activities
  • has trouble starting and ending activities
  • is accident-prone
  • trips or bumps into objects
  • takes long time to write things down
  • has trouble organising his desk and school bag
  • is often forgetful
  • gets lost easily
  • takes longer to master skills such as riding a bicycle, tying shoelaces, getting dressed, writing letters, catching a balls
  • dislikes sports
  • may tend to isolate
  • has difficulty with gross motor skills
  • has difficulty with fine motor skills
  • has difficulty generalising skillshas difficulty generalising skills
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