Proprioception and Picky Eaters
I love to learn by observing children and seeing what they need. They are honest and true to who they are! Over the years, I have connected behaviors and actions to a decreased processing of sensory information. The most helpful thing I have found to do in all my experience is to increase proprioception by alerting the body, activating the muscles so body awareness/proprioception can be further developed. I go over this in my training of how the proprioceptive system has to be alerted to actually “feel” or experience the body from the inside, and all the skills that fall in place when this happens.
In my experience, I have come across a few children who refused food and didn’t even feed themselves, to the point that medical testing on the digestive system was pending. One story I will share is of a toddler who was a few weeks away from traveling to another state for medical testing on his digestive system.
Personal Experience with Solving Proprioception Roadblocks in Children
Though I know this is necessary for some children, I realized this little one appeared to have decreased proprioception (body awareness) in his face and mouth. If he wasn’t feeling or sensing from the inside where his mouth is in space (you can’t see your mouth from your vision), then how could he know where to target sending the food to? This may sound very silly but it’s true.
These can be typical children who have not developed certain systems of their sensory system yet. I stepped in to help this little one alert his proprioceptive system in his mouth. Once altered, he could feel where his mouth was as well as feeling where the food was in his mouth and if he had chewed it enough to swallow. He ate so much that day, and hand fed himself too, that he then had a full belly and was uncomfortable from that.
Needless to say, his parents were amazed and very relieved! The best part was they were able to cancel their trip because I had provided the solution their son needed to feed himself and be fed. In this case, alerting the sensory system increased the ability to feed himself and the desire to eat foods and a variety of foods. I’ve shared some of these techniques in my videos. Altering the proprioceptive system is quite simple and very effective. Also, parents feel relieved and empowered to be able to assist their child with this development, because the solution is easy to implement.
Other Signs A Child May be Having Problems with Proprioception
I continue to be a learner in my job and am excited to help kids in this way. I offer training on the proprioceptive system, how it works and ways you can increase the development to solve specific development challenges such as:
Bumping into furniture, others, and doorways
Lying on one’s tummy in circle or leaning on others or the wall
Personal space knowledge
Not playing with a variety of toys or taking part in certain activities
Decreased play on playground equipment
Hitting out at others as they pass by
While decreased proprioception isn’t the only reason children experience development obstacles, I find understanding the sensory system is the first step to knowing what activities and techniques a teacher can use to increase a child’s development. For more information on my training, please CLICK HERE. As always, thank you for tuning in and thank you for working with kids.