Please share:

Interoception is the new ‘buzz word’ in the special needs universe. What is this thing and why do we need to know about it? Here is an ‘Out of the Pocket’ blog post to give you the fast facts. Individuals with sensory processing disorder and other special needs often struggle to process information received through the sensory system. Remember that we have EIGHT senses:

  1. Taste
  2. Smell
  3. Sight
  4. Hearing
  5. Touch
  6. Proprioception (body position sense)
  7. Vestibular (movement sense)
  8. Interoception

FACT #1:  Your skin has receptors to let us know when we are touched and what degree of pressure. We can also detect pain and injury to the skin. Interoception works in a similar way. Our organs have a sensitive lining and can give us information. We feel hunger, thirst, cramping, pain, and more from the receptors in our organs.

FACT #2:  Emotional awareness is also interoception. Think about your body when you are stressed. Your heart beats fast, your breathing is shallow and fast, you may feel stomach pain or cramping, and your cheeks may get red. Emotions are ‘felt’ in your body. We’ve all heard about children who get a tummy ache when it’s time to go to school. They may feel anxiety or worry and it manifests in the stomach. Your child is no different. He may feel emotions in his body and if he cannot use his words to tell you, he may act out. Here’s another example. When you do not eat, you may feel cranky. Even Snickers candy bars use this concept in their commercials. That’s INTEROCEPTION!

NEW! Our exclusive body organ friends. Let our characters help your child to become ‘friends’ with the organs. Friendly faces and characters can be used for games and activities in your home, school, or clinic. Body shape for scanning provided in PDF download.

FACT #3:  Interoception affects toileting. Many children with special needs and sensory difficulties have trouble with bowel movements. My own children needed diapers long after most of our friend’s children. Regulation monitors our body and responses to our surroundings. When our bladder is full, we use the toilet. If we have intestinal cramping, we find the restroom. Many people do not feel these urges. They may feel them too late or not at all. Bedwetting, frequent accidents, and holding stool/constipation are common when children struggle with interoceptive awareness.

FACT #4:  Some children do not understand how to react to information from their bodies. If they do not feel the information OR feel it too little or too much, they may misinterpret body signals. Feelings can become mixed up or confused. Remember that a child may seem as though they are behaving badly or acting out when they may not understand the way their body feels. This is why we need to look at a child’s behavior as a way of communication.

FACT #5: Sensory activity diets or activities designed for regulating sensory often help with interoceptive awareness. Just like the other senses, interoception can improve! Practice understanding emotions and feelings is so helpful to our children and adults. Also, naming feelings when they occur can be wonderful. For example, when a child asks for a drink of water say, “You are feeling thirsty.” Also, when she is happy ask her to stop and notice the way her body feels. Is she smiling? Does she feel comfortable? How does she know? Interoception is something we will talk about a lot more in our blog.

Don’t forget to read my new book, Interoception How I Feel: Sensing My World From the Inside Out.


Please share:

Related posts

Auditory Processing Disorder 101

Auditory processing disorders are often masked as other things. Sometimes, people think kids aren't paying attention or are daydreaming. In ...
Read More

Idioms, What Did You Say and What Do You Really Mean?

It's Raining Cats and Dogs!Idioms or phrases that cannot be understood through their literal meaning can be rather confusing for ...
Read More

5 Ways to Add Movement to Learning

Sit Still and Pay Attention!How many times have we heard this in our lives? I know my generation was expected ...
Read More

What Are Pre Writing Skills?

What are pre-writing skills and why does my child need them?Babies are born with hands that are curled up and ...
Read More

Great to have you here! 

I have a special gift for you!

Enter your email for your free copy of Sensory Tips!

You have Successfully Subscribed!