"What are sensory issues with children under 5 years old?"
I always find this an interesting topic as according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV), sensory integration disorder does not even exist. However, there is not a day that goes by that I’m not either posed this same question by a parent or I’m concerned about some sensory issue with a child I am seeing in my office.
As far as some of the characteristics or symptoms one may see include anything related to the senses…vision, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. For instance, a child may be sensitive to bright lights or unable to handle certain types of textured foods or sensitive to the tags on clothing or even overwhelmed by the noise from vacuum cleaners and hairdryers.
Furthermore, children with sensory issues may have poor coordination and balance, unable to sit still, and difficulty socializing with others…symptoms often seen with other developmental diagnoses (ADHD, autism spectrum).
Most importantly, if you are concerned your child may have sensory related issues, it is important you discuss with your child’s physician, as occupational therapy can be very helpful.
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