Sensory Processing Disorder and the 7 (Yes, 7!) Senses
Here’s a video I made about the seven senses:
Yes, there are 7, not 5–they include the ones you learned about in school plus two that are unfamiliar to may people, namely, the vestibular sense (sense of music) and proprioceptive sense (sense of body awareness). I tried to provide some images of various types of sensory input, and explain a bit about the aspects of our more familiar senses that we don’t think about. For instance, when you think of the tactile sense, or sense of touch, do you think about the texture of gritty versus smooth or slimy? Do you think about how you can discriminate between hot and cold? Or that the skin inside your mouth has tactile sensory receptors, too, so that you can have oral sensitivities, or engage in oral sensory seeking?
Some consider "interoception" to be an 8th sense, but I don't include it in the list because it involves body awareness (proprioception) and movement (vestibular) as well as other senses whose receptors you can't easily and directly influence by implementing a sensory diet. Using sensory diet activities to retrain the brain over time probably helps with interoception. However, there is still much to learn about why some kids don't easily and reliably feel clear signals from the body that tell them they need to toilet, eat, drink, scratch an itch, attend to an injury that is causing pain, or put on a sweater because they are cold. As you work on your child's sensory issues, you will find that she has a better sense of what is happening within her body and becomes more aware of her body's functions.