What is Sensory Avoidance?

Sensory avoidance is a behavior where individuals actively avoid certain sensory stimuli due to discomfort or distress. It can manifest in various ways such as avoiding physical touch, loud sounds, certain types of clothing, and unexpected sounds or bright lights. This behavior can impact social interactions and daily activities.

What is Sensory Avoidance?

Sensory avoidance is a condition where individuals dislike or actively avoid certain sensory stimuli. This can manifest in various ways such as pulling away from physical touch, covering ears to avoid loud sounds, avoiding certain types of clothing, and being startled by unexpected sounds and bright lights. Sensory avoiders often try to minimize the sensory input they experience, which can cause challenges with play and social interactions.

What are some behaviors that indicate Sensory Avoidance in children and teens?

  • Pulling away from physical touch
  • Covering ears in response to loud noises
  • Shutting down in crowds
  • Not liking being hugged or kissed
  • Being startled and frightened by unexpected sounds and bright lights

How does Sensory Avoidance affect everyday tasks?

Sensory avoidance can make everyday tasks difficult to tolerate, such as showering, wearing certain clothes, eating, or brushing teeth. Children may seek out sensations to help them regulate. Sensory defensiveness or hypersensitivities are very much affected by hormonal changes and sensitivity often intensifies during puberty, gestation, and menopause.

What is the link between screen time and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

According to a study, children exposed to TVs and DVDs in the first three years of life are more likely to have symptoms of atypical sensory processing disorder (SPD). The study also suggests that any amount of screen time for children under the age of two is associated with sensory differences. For every additional hour of screen exposure after 18 months, the likelihood of SPD increases by about 20%.

What is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation on screen time for babies?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages screen time for babies under 18-24 months. This is due to the potential for increased risk of sensory processing disorder with increased screen time.

Does Sensory Dysregulation improve with age?

Sensory dysregulation tends to improve with neurological maturation, but in many cases, it does not go away altogether. Most people learn coping strategies as they grow up.

What are some types of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

  • Sensory modulation disorder (SMD)
  • Sensory-based motor disorder (SBMD)
  • Sensory discrimination disorder (SDD)

What are the potential causes of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

Doctors don't know what causes SPD, but they are exploring a genetic link, which means it could run in families. Some doctors believe there could be a link between autism and SPD.

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