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Sensory Seekers vs Sensory Avoiders

What’s the difference?


· Some people are under sensitive to sensory input (need more) whilst some are over sensitive to sensory input (need less)

· Some people may show both under sensitive in some areas and over sensitive in other areas- a combination

· Knowing the person’s triggers can help find ways to cope

Sensory Seekers

Sensory Avoiders

​Need more sensory input

Need less sensory input- gets overwhelmed

Examples:

· Sight

Visual patterns, bright or light objects, things that spin or move

· Smell

Specific smells or might like to smell everything


· Noise

Likes repetitive or specific types of noise (eg- finger snapping, clapping)

· Taste

Like specific tastes or textures (eg- spicy, mint, sour, crunchy, mushy) or like sucking on non foods (eg- shirt sleeves, sensory chews)

· Touch

Likes to fidget with objects, certain textures (eg tight or soft clothing), wants to touch people and be touched, bangs into objects to feel touch

Examples:

· Sight

Still/stationary objects, dull colours


· Smell

Negative/over reacts to smells, doesn’t like them, smells things that others can’t smell

· Noise

Very sensitive to unexpected loud noises (eg- food blenders, fire alarms, reversing lorries)

· Taste

Doesn’t like food with strong tastes (eg- spicy, sour), struggles with textures of food


· Touch

Dislikes touch from other people and certain clothing etc

Ability to sense body movement, position and balance – proprioception

· May give people tight hugs

· Need contact and pressure

· May crash into things

Ability to sense body movement, position and balance – proprioception

· May not want hugs or people contact

· Will make sure they don’t touch anything when moving around

Spacial awareness

· May rock backwards and forwards, spin or swing, jump from height or hang upside down

Spacial awareness

· Will be more cautious with movement

· Unlikely to seek to rock, swing, jump etc

By learning if someone is a sensory seeker, avoider, or combination of both, it is easier to understand what may trigger them and what may help them.


What other things would you like to see on this blog? Comment below.

THANK YOU- Debs and Georgia


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