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Sensory Processing 101
Sensory Processing – or Integration as it is also known – is the effective registration (and accurate interpretation) of sensory input in the environment (including one’s body).
It is the way the brain receives, organises and responds to sensory input in order to behave in a meaningful & consistent manner.
Having the correct sensory aids allow children to be efficient in their processing, appropriate responses to the environment around them which is demonstrated by appropriate skill mastery, behavior, attention and self regulation (controlling their physical activity, emotional and cognitive responses).
All About Movement
Gross motor (physical) skills are those which require whole body movement and which involve the large (core stabilising) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, and sitting upright at the table.
They also includes eye-hand coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, kicking) as well as riding a bike or a scooter and swimming.
The Finer Detail
Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscle of the hands, commonly in activities like using pencils, scissors, construction with lego or duplo, doing up buttons and opening lunch boxes.
Fine motor skill efficiency significantly influences the quality of the task outcome as well as the speed of task performance. Efficient fine motor skills require a number of independent skills to work together to appropriately manipulate the object or perform the task.
The Pencil is Mightier
Writing is often thought of as the physical performance of handwriting in order to put pencil to paper to record words, but in it’s broader context is used to mean the output of pencil skills (that is, written communication on paper or more recently in an IT format).
Early writing skills including the use of writing aids develop finger strength, pencil manipulation, awareness of letter sounds and names, and then blending these sound together.