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Sensory Assessments - What are they and why do we use them?

We all experience our senses differently. Some people are more sensitive to smells than others, while some can taste things that other people cannot. Some children, such as those with an autism or ADHD diagnosis may experience sensory processing preferences that impact on their daily life and routines. They may have trouble making sense of the input they receive from their 8 senses (vision, sound, smell, touch, taste, movement, proprioception/deep pressure, and interoception/internal signals).

What is a Sensory Assessment?

A sensory assessment is a way to gather information about your child's sensory needs. The assessment is done by an Occupational Therapist (OT) through observations and/or through parent discussion. This allows the OT to see how the child responds in relation to certain situations, such as touch or movement.

A sensory assessment can be used for many different things, such as:

  • identifying if your child is having difficulty engaging in everyday routines due to sensory preferences

  • gauging your current level of support for your child's sensory needs

  • identifying strategies or recommendations to support your child in achieving their goals while accommodating for their sensory needs

Sensory Assessments are a great way to identify your child’s sensory needs and enable parents, carers, teachers, and therapists to understand how they are interpreting sensory input. When we understand how a child is experiencing sensory input, we better able to adapt the environment and tasks to support participation and promote their success.

If you feel that your child would benefit from a Sensory Assessment, or requires ongoing therapy to support their sensory needs, please get in touch with an occupational therapist who will be able to support you further.


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