Parents of children with Sensory Processing Disorder ( SPD) know very well that besides sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell there are other senses many forget. There are 8 different senses when these last three are added: vestibular (sense of balance), proprioception ( the abiity to know how your body parts are oriented), interoception ( internal sense of body function that tells you of pain, hunger, need to use the bathroom…). I have a post about the vestibular and proprioceptive senses here. Those last two senses have to do with balance and coordination. What is the interoceptive sense?
Clare J. Fowler in her review of the book Visceral Sensory Neuroscience: INTEROCEPTION by Oliver G. Cameron M.D. Ph.D. writes: “The system of interoception as a whole constitutes “the material me” and relates to how we perceive feelings from our bodies that determine our mood, sense of well‐being and emotions.” Interoceoption is our sensitivity to stimuli originating inside of the body. As humans, we perceive feelings from our bodies that relate our state of well-being, our energy and stress levels, our mood and disposition.
Sensory processing challenges can show as over or under sensitivities. Each person is different. The interoceptive sense includes input about the following:
*state of arousal
*bowel and bladder
Therefore if your child has problems with sleep, potty training, bowel movements, feeding, tolerance to hot or cold temperatures, ability to regulate thirst and hunger, severe mood swings during the day, heart and respiration rates … have your child evaluated for Sensory Proccessing Disorder (SPD) because your child’s interoceptive sense might need to be regulated. If it is determined that your child does have SPD, you will probably be seen by an occupational therapist who will help your child and help you with techniques to regualte the interoceptive senses.
Children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) react inappropriately to their environment. This can be very difficult for their families to understand and creates even bigger challenges for the children when they are at school. SPD is a disorder that kids with Autism (ASD), ADHD and Bipolar Disorders may also have and can explain some of the similar behaviours. The moment parents notice the above problems and can start intensive interventions the better it will be for the child, his teacher, his friends, and his whole family.