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January 16, 2020

What Is Interoception?

Interoception is a sense that allows us to notice internal body signals like a growling stomach, racing heart, tense muscles or full bladder. When we notice these body signals our brain uses them as clues to our emotions. Interoception helps us to feel many important emotions including:

INTEROCEPTION AND SELF-REGULATION

Having trouble with this sense can also make self-regulation a challenge. When you’re able to tell that you’re thirsty, you know to take a drink. When you can feel that your bladder is full, you know to use the bathroom.  When you feel a sense of frustration, you know to explain what’s troubling you.

For some kids, this system doesn’t work well and they can’t regulate certain responses. Some kids may experience bed wetting. Or they may not know why they’re feeling off and can have meltdowns. Kids who struggle with these things may not be able to identify the real source of their discomfort.

SENSITIVTY SYMPTOMS

  • Difficulty with toileting (bed wetting)
  • Unable to track hydration or food intake (never feel thirsty or hungry or may always feel thirsty or hungry)
  • Difficulty in recognising and communicating internal body states or sensations
  • Distracted by internal sensory input such as hearing their heartbeat.
  • Unable to tell how loud their voice is in an environment. May use sound to cover up unwanted sensory stimuli.

ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Mindfulness activities
  • Yoga
  • Heavy work activities
  • Alerting activities
  • Repetitive and rhythmic vestibular input
  • Visual prompts and cues to identify and communicate emotions
  • Social stories

These activities can improve interoception along with a sensory diet given by a qualified Occupational Therapist and/or clinic will definitely help.

Here at Happy Dots, we are passionate, committed, family centred, fun and will go above and beyond to help children and their families. You can call Happy Dots Occupational Therapy for Children on (02) 4959 8920 to book. 

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