Sensory Systems: Interoception.
Interoception is one of our 8 senses. Internally, we have sensory receptors that provide us with information as to what is going on inside of our bodies; regulating temperature, feeling hunger or thirst, digestion, heart rate, pain, etc. That information we receive from those receptors goes to our brain so we can make sense of what we are feeling & take the appropriate steps to get what we need.
When this sense is not working optimally, we may see little ones struggle with activities like potty training, difficulty recognizing when they are hungry or thirsty, or eating and drinking too much, and they may not realize if they are too hot or too cold.
A few years ago, I was working with an 8-year-old boy. He came into his treatment session exhausted; it was the middle of the summer and he had been at camp all day. He was lethargic and at first I thought he was overstimulated from summer camp. I went to get him a snack and asked if he wanted some water.. his reply "sure, I haven't had water since last night." I couldn't believe it. It had to have been 100 degrees outside, he had been running around all day in the heat, but his interoception sense was off and his body was not able to connect with his brain to tell him "drink some water."
Safety takes priority when it comes to my field. Interoception is present for our survival. We worked on improving body awareness, strategically placed his CamelBak water bottle in view throughout the day, and set a timer on his phone so he knew when to drink water. Eventually, this sense began to improve.
Safety awareness and body awareness are so important. I have written about this before with the proprioceptive and tactile system, it is no different with interoception.
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