Growth & Development


Sensory integration refers to the ability to receive input through all of the senses - taste, smell, auditory, visual, touch, movement and body position, and the ability to process this sensory information into automatic and appropriate responses to the sensation.







► Responds negatively to unexpected or loud noises

► Is distracted or has trouble functioning if there is a lot of background noise

► Enjoys strange noises/seeks to make noise for noise sake

► Seems to be “in his own world”


► Children over 3 - trouble staying between the lines when colouring

► Avoids eye contact

► Squinting, or looking out of the corner of the eye

► Staring at bright, flashing objects


► Avoids certain tastes/smells that are typically part of a child’s diet

► Chews/licks non-food objects

► Gags easily

► Picky eater, especially regarding textures

Movement and Body Position

► Continually seeks out all kinds of movement activities (being whirled by adult, playground equipment, moving toys, spinning, rocking)

► Becomes anxious or distressed when feet leave ground

► Poor endurance - tires easily; seems to have weak muscles

► Avoids climbing, jumping, uneven ground or roughhousing

► Moves stiffly or walks on toes; clumsy or awkward, falls frequently 

► Does not enjoy a variety of playground equipment

► Enjoys exaggerated positions for long periods (e.g., lies head-upside-down off sofa)


► Becomes upset during grooming (hair cutting, face washing, fingernail cutting)

► Has difficulty standing in line or close to other people; or stands too close, always touching others

► Is sensitive to certain fabrics

► Fails to notice when face or hands are messy or wet

► Cannot tolerate hair washing, hair cutting, nail clipping, teeth brushing

► Craves lots of touch: heavy pressure, long sleeved clothing, hats and certain textures

Activity Level

► Always on the go; difficulty paying attention

► Very inactive, under-responsive


► Needs more protection from life than other children

► Has difficulty with changes in routines

► Is stubborn or uncooperative; gets frustrated easily

► Has difficulty making friends

► Has difficulty understanding body language or facial expressions

► Does not feel positive about own accomplishments

In addition, if a child’s responses are exaggerated, irrational, extreme, and/or oppositional and do not seem typical for the child’s age, consider this a red flag



Having concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?

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