Sensory processing refers to how we take in sensory information from our senses (like touch, hearing, taste, etc) and respond to the world.  Sensory processing affects how babies and toddlers engage with others, pay attention, and self-regulate, thus impacting development of play and motor skills.  Some signs that your baby or toddler may have some difficulties with sensory processing include:

  • Excessively fussy or difficult to calm

  • Doesn’t enjoy being held or cuddled by caregivers

  • Does not seem to respond to caregivers when they speak or attempt to interact

  • Picky eating, which seems out of the norm from other children

  • Doesn’t seem interested in exploring their environment; very “passive”

  • Does not put items in mouth for exploration OR excessively mouths them, interfering with play

  • Appears fearful of movement experiences, like the head being tipped back to wash hair or change diaper

  • Very limited attention in toddlers, OR excessively long attention to one particular activity or object

  • Constantly “on the go” without periods of quiet play

  • Tantrums that seem more intense or prolonged than should be expected for age

  • Seems to have difficulty imitating others to do new things

  • Dislikes messy play

  • Seems sensitive to sounds or touch (reacts negatively to unexpected sound, startles easily, gets upset about clothing)


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