Is your child a Sensory Seeker, Sensory Avoider or Both?

Children who have Sensory Processing Disorder usually fall into two catagories, a seeker or an avoider. 

Most people think that you have to be one or the other but you can actually be an avoider and a seeker too. It's more common to be both than one or the other. 

A sensory seeker is hyposensitive and an avoider is hypersensitive.

A child with Sensory Processing that is an avoider will become overstimulated because they are sensitive to what is around them and will feel everything much more intense then others. Sensory avoiders will avoid sensory input. 

A sensory seeker will is the opposite and we feel under stimulated and will seek out sensory input. Sensory seekers will not react to the enviroment around them like an avoider does. Sensory seekers crave and want sensory input. 

A Seeker loves movement, being rough and active, loves a stimulating environment, craves salty, spicy foods or extra chewy and crunchy foods, enjoys motion, crashes into walls or floors, loves running and jumping, needs to touch everything, cant sit still, and has poor attention span. Seekers also climb too high, climbing on everything, crashes into people and everything, licks and chews on everything, eating too much, doesn't feel pain like most do, over stuff there mouths, dump out boxes full of stuff and look through everything, engages in messy play with play dough mud, shaving cream and they're loud with little volume control.

An avoider is the opposite as a seeker. They avoid. Picky eaters, covers ears from noise, wont wear shoes, avoids mess and messy hands, dislikes anyone too close to them, doesn't like climbing and swinging, refuses bath time and swimming activities including water, complains about smells, doesn't like to brush teeth, complains about normal lighting that its too bright, over responsive to pain and feel everything more than they should, doesn't like tags and seams on clothes and avoids hugs.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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