What Are Sensory Processing Skills?

Sensory processing is a child’s ability to develop movement and exploration using the senses of taste, touch, vision, hearing, and smell. Infants explore with their mouths and progress to exploring with their hands. Sensory skills become more refined in early childhood. A child must effectively register and then interpret sensory input in the environment (including one’s body) to respond to sensory input in a meaningful and consistent manner.

Picky Eating

A child is considered a picky eater if he/she only eats a specific texture (for example: only crunchy foods, only pureed textures), eats from only 1-2 [...]


A child is able to self-regulate when he/she can control and monitor his/her feelings, behavior, and emotions. A sensory treatment approach is often u [...]

Tactile Sensitivity

Children who are tactile defensive have an increased sensitivity to touch that is caused by the way in which the brain processes tactile input. Childr [...]

What are some signs and symptoms of Sensory Motor Disorder?

Signs and symptoms include any of the following difficulties: breast feeding, settling to sleep, tolerating different textures/temperatures of foods (e.g. picky eating), socializing with parents/peers and demonstrating joint attention, learning from others due to poor understanding and attention, following instructions at home/child care, toilet training, sitting still, following routines, responding appropriately to questions, or may cry often.



Birth - 6 Months

Tracks objects with eyes; looks at own hands; responds to sounds and voice; reaches for nearby objects; coos in response to playful interaction; enjoys bath time; typically able to tolerate diaper changing without crying; able to calm with experiences such as rocking, touching, and calm sounds; does not become upset with everyday sounds; has an established and reliable sleeping schedule

6 - 12 Months

Plays 2-3 minutes with a single toy; imitates gestures; tolerates a range of different textured foods; vocalizing in response to playful interaction; maintains eye contact with familiar people during playful interaction; enjoys various types of movement, such as being gently swung; is not fearful when moving to lying on back for diaper changing; enjoys moving to explore the environment when placed on floor; has grown accustomed to everyday sounds and is usually not startled by them; able to self soothe when upset

1 - 2 Years

Bothered by soiled diaper; distinguishes between edible and inedible objects; understands/fears common dangers of hot objects, stairs, glass; enjoys messy play; reacts to extremes in temperature; looks for an object he/she watched fall out of sight (such as a spoon that fell under the table); follow simple 1 step instructions

2 - 3 Years

Uses toilet with assistance and has daytime control; pays attention for 3 minutes; begins to be able to take turns; able to participate in small groups with other children; is interested, aware, and able to maintain eye contact with others; turns head in response to name being called; enjoys playing with new toys in varied ways; able to participate in messy activities that result in dirty hands; cries and notices when hurt; able to transition to new environment or activity; able to tolerate and stay calm during haircuts

3 - 4 Years

Can differentiate between real and pretend world; takes turns; can dress self (exception of fasteners); feeds self without difficulty; social encounters are acted out through play activities; tolerates having fingernails trimmed and face wiped

4 -5 Years

Develops friendships; expresses emotions; able to follow rules; able to sit and pay attention e.g. mat/circle time; able to initiate and play with another child of the same age; able to play with one toy or theme for 15 minute periods of time; eats a diet rich in various foods, temperatures, and textures

5 - 6 Years

Has the attention to sit at a desk, follow teacher instructions, and independently do simple in-class assignments; begins to recognize others perspectives; able to cope with an unexpected change; would rather play with a friend or children rather than adults; not overly controlling of play with other children; able to self-calm to fall asleep; able to tolerate and wear textures of new and varied articles of clothes; need for crashing, bumping and moving fast does not interfere with participation in activities and family life; enjoys participating in loud, fun settings such as birthday parties; not overly controlling of daily tasks such as dressing or mealtimes

If your have concerns about your child’s Sensory Development, contact us today for a FREE screening!


Tri-County Therapy contact information for children with speech delays in Anderson and Charleston, SC.