We all have sensory experiences. My sensory experiences contribute to my strong preference for yoga pants over jeans, and my undying love for the smell of vanilla bean. However, neurodivergent folx may hear, eat, and feel with more sensitivity than is typical. This may look like being particular about food choices, or overwhelmed by too much noise. For example, a child who naturally covers their ears in a noisy environment is likely hyper-sensitive to auditory input.
Some of us hear with more sensitivity, others smell, or feel with more sensitivity. This is because we all have eight sensory systems. That's right, eight!
Eight Sensory Systems (Emotions Are One of Them)
1) Visual - Sight
2) Auditory - Hearing
3) Gustatory - Taste
4) Olfactory - Smell
5) Tactile - Touch
6) Proprioception - Pressure
7) Vestibular - Balance/Motion
8) Interoception - Feelings/Internal Bodily Sensations
A person can be hyper-sensitive, meaning they are overly aware of sensory input, or hypo-sensitive, meaning they are under-aware of sensory input. Neither is better or worse, but it's helpful to know how our sensory system might impact our daily functioning. If hyper- or hypo- sensitivities are getting in the way of your ability to function optimally, you may need to speak with an expert about your experience.
The staff here at LBP can provide a diagnostic evaluation, or a course of therapy to address your sensory concerns. There are multiple reason that your sensory system might be out of sink including: ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Retained Primitive Reflexes, and PTSD.
Just in case you're curious...
Some examples of hypersensitivity include:
1) Visual - Sight - Wearing sunglasses even on cloudy days.
2) Auditory - Hearing - Feeling overwhelmed in noisy environments.
3) Gustatory - Taste - Avoiding foods with specific textures.
4) Olfactory - Smell - Getting a headache from certain cleaners or candles.
5) Tactile - Touch - Feeling uncomfortable from light touch or certain clothing.
6) Proprioception - Pressure - A dislike for weighted blankets.
7) Vestibular - Balance/Motion - A dislike for spinning or unstable surfaces.
8) Interoception - Feelings/Internal Bodily Sensations - Easily upset stomach or low pain threshold.
Some examples of hyposensitivity include:
1) Visual - Sight - Seeking to look for details, watching a lava lamp, or seeking visual input.
2) Auditory - Hearing - Seeking loud or specific noises.
3) Gustatory - Taste - Enjoying very spicy or flavorful foods.
4) Olfactory - Smell - Smelling objects deliberately and repeatedly.
5) Tactile - Touch - Touching everything or exploring the feel of different objects on the skin.
6) Proprioception - Pressure - A love for weighted blankets and big, tight hugs.
7) Vestibular - Balance/Motion - Spinning and balancing on objects.
8) Interoception - Feelings/Internal Bodily Sensations - Not noticing the need to use the bathroom or eat food or take a break from physical activity.
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