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Sensory processing is a foundation that supports humans in every area of development. From an infant’s ability to lift their head against gravity, to a toddler’s ability to self-soothe, to a preschooler’s ability to play with other children, and a school age child’s ability to focus on their school work, sensory processing plays an important role in the development of essential life skills.

Our senses provide us with information that we use and organize to successfully interact in the world. The familiar senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell provide us with much of the information we need, and the less familiar senses of the vestibular and proprioceptive systems provide information related to changes in movement, where we are in relation to the physical world, and the position of our body in relation to itself. The central nervous system constantly focuses, screens, sorts, and responds to the incoming sensory information from both the external environment and body’s internal sensory receptors and then organizes that information.

Like with other developmental foundations, people’s ability to process sensory information is on a continuum. Some people’s sensory processing is strong and their ability to learn skills is well supported. For others, sensory processing is more difficult and impacts their ability to gain skills. Sensory processing challenges can impact anyone. It isn’t related to intelligence but can impact social emotional development, motor skills, communication, learning, and independence.

How Can Sensory Processing Concerns Be Improved?

Sensory processing challenges can be difficult to identify, in part because they may show up differently from environment-to-environment and from hour-to-hour and in part because some of the behaviors that point to sensory processing challenges can be seen as purely behavioral challenges. Sensory processing challenges can be treated by skilled professionals and supported by caregivers who understand the child from a sensory processing lens, sometimes with the support of an occupational therapist. The earlier treatment can be initiated the better. With this in mind, these “red flags” for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are offered.

If you have questions about sensory processing, early intervention, child development, or any other specific questions regarding your own child, please reach out. Our CORE team can help navigate your request: 952-548-8700 or



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