People nowadays are always after their health and well-being. We aren’t against it as it helps in promoting a better lifestyle. With this, people always make sure they eat the healthiest, or can we say the most “instagrammable” meal. People go to the famous fitness centers and try the trendy execises such as HIIT, aerial yoga, pilates, and many more. When people encounter problems with their sense of sight, smell, hearing and taste, it is so easy for them to just go the hospital and see a doctor. However, we always neglect other parts of the sensory system. One of these is the proprioception. Let’s admit it, not all people are aware of the different senses beyond eyes, ears, nose and tongue. Moreover, most of the children with special needs and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) needs help on this area. This is why we will be discussing the importance of proprioceptive system and some activities to promote it.
What is proprioception?
Proprioception is the body’s ability to receive input through receptors in the skin, muscles and joints, and transfer the information to the brain through the nervous system so that the body can sense itself.
To put it in simple words, proprioception is the sense that tells the body where it is in space. Proprioception is very important to the brain as it plays a big role in self-regulation, coordination, posture, body awareness, the ability to attend and focus, and speech. Many children with sensory processing disorders, Autism, and ADHD struggle with one or more of the areas listed above because of their body is not processing the proprioceptive input effectively.
What are the signs if your child is experiencing proprioceptive dysfunction?Below, we will be listing down some typical and atypical behaviours of the children:
Typical #1: Can adjust body to avoid bumping or crashing into things
Atypical #1: Frequently bumps into things, trips over and falls down easily
Typical #2: Can adjust body against, under or around a chair or bed
Atypical #2: Falls off chairs or rolls off the bed
Typical #3: Has strong sense of understanding person’s space
Atypical #3: Feel agitated if too close to others, or shows unawareness of personal space
Typical #4: Can enjoy physical play, wrestling and gross motor play
Atypical #4: May become too aggressive with play and tends to hit, bite, push, etc.
Typical #5: Tolerates transitions from high motivating activities such as play to another activity
Atypical #5: Avoids or becomes anxious with transitions including excessive sensory inputs
If your child is showing these behaviors at home or at school, below are some activities that you can do to:
- Weight bearing activities such as push-ups, wheelbarrows and carrying heavy things
- Crawling through a tunnel
- Crashing into pillows or crash pad
- Animal walks
- Rolling inside a blanket
- Deep pressure massages
- Tug of War
These are some of the activities that you can do at home or in the playground with your children to improve their proprioceptive system.