Environmental considerations

What is Sensory Processing?

Sensory processing involves the ability to take in information about our environment through the senses and use the information in a meaningful and functional manner.  Every day is filled with sensory experiences.  These sensory experiences help the child to develop, grow and learn.  Typically, a child will engage in a variety of sensory experiences through his daily activities and play.


Sensory Systems as Building Blocks to Learning

Sensory information is received through various receptors throughout our bodies and then sent to the brain for processing.  Our brain organizes the information and facilitates an appropriate response or reaction.  The most familiar sensory inputs include vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch.  However, other sensory systems include proprioception and vestibular input.  Proprioception relates to deep pressure to the muscles and joints.  Gravity, heavy work and compression of the joints activate the proprioceptors.  Vestibular input is related to the balance system and the inner ear.  The vestibular system is activated through movement activities.

Environmental Considerations




Bright lights

Low lights

Loud music

Soft music

Fast, unpredictable movements

Slow rhythmic movement

Light touch

Deep pressure

Spicy, crunchy sour foods

Chewy foods



Fast respiration

Slow, deep breaths

Heavy perfumes

Soothing smells