Potential Child Behavior Problems Resulting From Sensory Integration/Sensory Processing Dysfunction

Please note that some of the following child behavior problems may result from sensory processing dysfunction OR other developmental problems, due to the overlap of symptoms with a variety of other diagnoses (i.e, ADD/ADHD, Autism, Aspergers, PDD, developmental delay, etc.).

However, collectively, these are common behavior problems that are red flag indicators of children with sensory processing disorders.

Here is the list of child behavior problems sensory processing disorders may give rise to:

Excessive Energy And Activity Level: A child may be unable to sit still, constantly on the run, or engage in risky behaviors.

Remarkably Low Energy And Activity Level: A child may appear lethargic, uninterested in engaging in the world or activities, or be sedentary most of the day.

Frequent Impulsiveness: A child may be unable to control impulses to jump out of his seat, control his behavior, may be aggressive, and/or frequently "blurt" things out without thinking first.

Short Attention Span And Distractibility: A child may have difficulty concentrating on one activity or task for any length of time and be distracted by every sight, sound, smell, and/or movement he sees.

Motor Coordination Difficulties And Problems With Muscle Tone: A child may appear clumsy, or like a "wet noodle", slouch or rest his head on his hands/arm during desk work, exhibit awkward movements, and/or have frequent accidents or injuries.

Motor Planning Difficulties: A child may have difficulty with sports, handwriting, balance, using eating utensils, riding a bike, doing jumping jacks, clapping, or getting dressed.

Frequent Switching Of Hands During "Tool" Use And Manipulation: A child may not have a dominant hand for writing by age 5, may switch hands often while cutting, writing etc, or may throw a ball with both hands at different times.

Poor Eye-Hand Coordination: A child may have sloppy handwriting, difficulty cutting/drawing a straight line, catching a ball, or tying his shoes.

Significant Resistance To The Unfamiliar: A child may experience anxiety or refuse to try new foods, meet new people, participate in new activities or sleep in a different environment.

Difficulty Making Transitions From One Activity Or Situation To Another: A child may throw a tantrum, be uncooperative, or experience severe anxiety when stopping one activity and starting another. He may have a difficult time leaving a particular place or going to the next task of the day (ie, bath, bedtime, dinner)

Low Frustration Tolerance: A child may become upset, yell or throw a tantrum at the slightest thing that does not go his way or that he is having difficulty learning. He will give up on tasks easily if they are difficult for him.

Difficulties With Self-Regulation: A child may have difficulty with mood stability and maintaining an optimal level of arousal. He may be unable to calm himself down after an activity or get himself going for an activity. His arousal level may fluctuate minute to minute or day to day, which can be one of the most challenging behavior problems of all!

"Academic" Difficulties: A child may have mild to severe learning disabilities as he has a difficult time learning and generalizing new concepts and skills.

Significant Social Skill Behavior Problems: A child may have a difficult time relating to other children and sharing. He may isolate, be overpowering, aggressive, or bossy to help him regulate and control his sensory environment.

Emotional Behavior Problems: A child may have significant self-esteem issues (one of THE BIGGEST indicators of sensory processing dysfunction), be overly sensitive to criticism, transitions, and stressful situations. He may have difficulty relating to others or understanding his own actions, motivation, and behaviors.

Significantly Irritated By And Uncooperative With Activities Of Daily Living: A child may have difficulty getting dressed, going to bed, brushing his teeth, eating, participating in certain activities, or taking a shower.

There are so many child behavior problems which accompany sensory processing disorders. Whether your child has this disorder or not, the resources below are invaluable to parents, teachers, families and professionals when dealing with any child behavior problems.

Please take a few moments to browse through them; they are wonderful resources that will benefit everyone!

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