Sensory Processing

What is Sensory Processing?
Sensory processing is the mechanism the human brain uses to identify, organise and react to sensory information. This information is collected through the sensory organs, transferred to the brain by the nerves and sent to different areas of the brain which correspond to the required actions. 

How does Sensory Processing relate to learning new skills and academic progression?
Our central nervous system and sensory processing systems form the foundation for all development and future learning. When one of these systems is off balance it impacts higher order processing such as eye-hand coordination or postural adjustment, important for handwriting. When these foundation skills are impacted the ability to regulate behaviour and complete academic learning is also affected.

How does Sensory Processing correspond to better performance?
Knowing and understanding the effect each aspect of sensory processing has on your ability to concentrate, focus and feel comfortable will allow students to more easily and reliably reach their optimum level of alertness for study/exams. Individuals will have sensory preferences and theses may vary depending on stress levels and the environment they are in. By understanding where a student fits on the continuum of "sensory processing types" will shape the style of instruction, training and pre-exam preparation that will suit their sensory needs.



Winnie Dunn - Sensory Preferences

Patricia & Julie Willbargar - Sensory Defensiveness

Sherry Shellenberger and Mary Sue Williams - ALERT Program -

Immature Primitive Reflexes

What are primitive reflexes

Gieysztor, Choinska & Paprocka-Browicz define primitive reflexes as “automatic movement patterns that commence during pregnancy and are fully present at birth”. These reflexes are utilised to help development of more complex movements for postural control and balance etc.

Why do they remain immature?

This is an area of ongoing research and there are a multitude of reasons why reflexes remain immature. Some possibilities include trauma during birthing process, lack of tummy time and ongoing ear infections.

What is the significance of retaining primitive reflexes?

If a child has not appropriately integrated these reflexes, this may present in poor motor skills such as difficulties running, jumping, throwing/catching and sitting still. These factors can result in learning and behavioural challenges in the future, if not appropriately addressed. 



Gieysztor, E. Z., Choińska, A. M., & Paprocka-Borowicz, M. (2018). Persistence of primitive reflexes and associated motor problems in healthy preschool children. Archives of Medical Science : AMS, 14(1), 167-173. doi:10.5114/aoms.2016.60503