Sensitivity to Sensory Input

An Area of Temperament

Very sensitive, avoids sensory input

Not very sensitive, seeks sensory input

What does this mean? 

A child’s sensitivity to sensory input defines how much sensory input they need to feel comfortable. 

Some examples of sensory input are:

  • Light
  • Sounds
  • Texture of fabric or food
  • Tastes of different foods
  • Movement, pressure, or temperature.

What does this look like?

Some children are highly sensitive to sensory input and may react strongly to small changes in these sensations. 

Other children don’t seem to notice or mind differences in sensory input. 

Still others are not very sensitive to sensory input and seek out intense sensations.

Children that are very sensitive and not very sensitive to sensory input may seem irritable because they are likely to be uncomfortable more often than children who do not mind differences in sensory input.

How can I help?

Caregivers of children with high or low sensitivity to sensory input may need to adjust the environment by paying attention to the fabric of their children’s clothes, being more alert to lighting and sound, or investing in weighted blankets.

Redirection can help children focus on other sensory input. 

Regulation skills can help children manage discomfort and recover.