Common terminology used by therapists explained:
Gravitational Insecurity refers to an excessive fear of ordinary movement, being out of an upright position, or having one’s feet off the ground. This is commonly known as a ‘fear of heights’. Children with this fear are uncomfortable with gravity, and their reactions are out of proportion to any real danger that exists or to any postural deficits the child may have.
Somatodyspraxia is when a child has difficulties with forming motor ideas, planning motor actions and appears to be[U1] very clumsy in executing motor tasks. (Kramer P & Hinojosa J.) This disorder presents with poor processing of the tactile and proprioceptive senses.
Bilateral integration and sequencing disorder (BIS):
This is the neurological process of integrating the sensations from both body sides. Thus the ability to co-ordinate both sides of the body during symmetrical, alternating or asymmetrical tasks/activities. This disorder presents with poor processing of the vestibular and proprioceptive senses.
Laterality is the differential presentation of the different sensory and motor modalities, such as eyes, ears, hands/arms and feet/legs, whereby one side has become preferred for certain processing and output activities.
Sensory Modulation (SM) refers to the ability of the nervous system to regulate, organize and prioritize incoming sensory information, inhibiting or suppressing irrelevant information and prioritizing and helping the child to focus on relevant information. A well-modulated nervous system adapts to changes in its environment, has a level of arousal and attention appropriate for the task blocks out the irrelevant information, attends to relevant stimulation and responds appropriately in direct proportion to the input.
Neurological threshold refers to the amount of stimuli required for a neuron or neural system to respond. At one end of this continuum, thresholds are very high (that means it would take a lot of stimuli to meet the threshold and fire the neurons). At the other end of this continuum, thresholds are very low (this means it would take very little stimuli to meet the threshold and fire the neuron).
Tactile discrimination deficits:
This refers to the inability or difficulty with the understanding of qualities of touch, i.e. which parts of the body is touched in which sequence. Tactile discrimination helps establish an imprint so that the orderly sequence of movement may be reproduced again and again. It helps with the manipulation of tools in the hand and provides an internal model of the body to the person.
Proprioception arises from the active and passive changes in the length and tension of all muscles acting on the moving joint. It is thus the feedback to the brain from the muscles and joints with regards to positioning in space and force of movement. It is an important sense used in co-ordinating movements.
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POSITION STATEMENT ON THE ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT OF CHILDREN WITH SENSORY INTEGRATION DIFFICULTIES