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  • Writer's pictureDr. Edan M. Alcalay

Learn about Sensory Seeking Children

Children may be under-sensitive (sensory-seeking) if they:

· Can’t sit still

· Seek thrills (loves jumping, heights, and spinning).

· Can spin without getting dizzy.

· Don’t pick up on social cues.

· Don’t recognize personal space.

· Chew on things (including their hands and clothing).

· Seek visual stimulation (like electronics).

· Have problems sleeping.

· Don’t recognize when their face is dirty or nose is running.

What is Sensory Seeking/Processing Issues?

· Children who are sensory seekers have less awareness of how their bodies are moving and less awareness of when they’re touched or when they touch objects or people. As a result, they’ll seek more input in order to feel what they are touching, or they’ll seek more movement in order to better know where their arms and legs are in relation to one another and how to effectively move them. Until they’re able to perceive how their body moves, they’ll appear clumsy, uncoordinated, and have poor balance.

· Because they have a decreased awareness of sensory input, they also need more input in order to pay attention; however, they only know that they need more input and often will seek too much input.

· This over-seeking results in even less ability to pay attention, possible distress, less opportunities to interact with friends, and more disciplinary action from those who do not understand sensory processing difficulties as they relate to sensory seeking. The problem is that they do not know how to seek the input effectively for optimal attention and participation.

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