Using Occupational Therapy To Manage Over And Under-Sensitivity In Children

Some children may struggle with behavioral issues or with over-stimulation or under-stimulation. These problems may help your child carry out other everyday tasks because they will become distracted. These problems may be the result of a physical injury or a birth defect. There are several ways that occupational therapy can be used to treat these problems.

Signs That Your Child Needs Occupational Therapy

There are many warning signs that your child might need occupational therapy. You may notice that your child is often a bystander when playing on the playground rather than an active participant. You may also notice that your child very rarely tries out equipment without being encouraged to do so. Your child may engage in activities that are familiar and not activities that may place him or her out of his or her comfort zone. He or she may also avoid playing with other children.


One of the reasons why children sometimes struggle to engage in day-to-day activities is because of a hypersensitivity. These children are often overwhelmed and withdraw from activities. In order to help your child improve in an activity, it is necessary to find out why your child is struggling with that activity in the first place. For instance, if your child is struggling to focus, this might be the result of him or her having too much energy. Finding ways to release some of this energy can help your child cope with hypersensitivity.


Children who are under-sensitive may crave stimulation. This often leads to the child being disruptive in order to have sensory experiences. This problem is solved by using sensory gyms, which are locations where activities can be performed that can provide your child with stimulation. Another option is to provide your child with a sensory break, which can allow him or her to go for a walk and recharge.

Behavioral Issues

Occupational therapy also helps children overcome behavioral disorders. For instance, if your child is often hitting other children, an occupational therapist may help your child learn alternative ways of controlling his or her anger. For example, your child might learn to practice writing about positive feelings to avoid focusing on the negative. These behavioral issues may be the result of under-sensitivity or over-sensitivity. For these reasons, if your child has trouble with over-stimulation, under-stimulation or behavioral issues, it is recommended that you have him or her visit an occupational therapist.

Contact a medical office like ABC Pediatric Therapy for more information and assistance.