Sensory processing and loss

Our senses are how we learn about the world – and providing supportive sensory experiences to your child is vital.

What is sensory processing and loss?

What is sensory processing and loss?

Our senses affect everything – how we experience and interact with the world, our movement and development, our behaviour and memories.

In early childhood, our brain development is especially sensitive to our senses. This presents an opportunity not only to expose the senses to new things, but also to find the right sensory environment for other development areas to flourish.

Our five main senses are: touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell

We also have three other senses:

1. The feeling of where our body is in space (vestibular sense)

2. Our body position (proprioceptive sense)

3. Our feeling of what’s happening inside our body, for example feeling hungry or hot (interoceptive sense)

What your child might experience

Your child’s brain is busy adapting to the sensory information at hand, building a picture of the world and a sense of themselves. Your child is learning what he or she enjoys, and what they don’t like! 

Your child may have a range of sensory experiences: 

How Pace can help

Your child is supported to explore and process their senses, so they can learn about their body and the world. For example, finding a sensory activity that helps your child stay alert means they can learn. Bouncing on a ball or using a fidget toy can focus a child to keep concentrating.

We might place a child in a swing, so they enjoy the sensation and movement while developing control of their head. We encourage parents to hold and dance with their babies because we know these important sensory experiences can bond families together.

When a child dislikes the feeling of brushing their teeth or having a shower, for instance, we take time to understand the sensation which is challenging. Then, in a safe and calm state, we slowly introduce this new sensory experience, so they can learn to manage everyday activities.