Sign and Symptoms of Proprioceptive Dysfunction

Sign and Symptoms  of Proprioceptive Dysfunction

  • difficulty “motor planning”; i.e. conceptualizing and figuring out what each part of his body needs to do in order to move a certain way or complete a task (what is an unconscious sense to us, becomes an active, conscious, frustrating sense to them)
  • difficulty executing those planned movements: i.e.”motor control”(the brain may know what to do, but they can’t figure out how to make their body do it)
  • difficulty “grading movement”;knowing how much pressure is needed to complete a task (i.e. hold a cup of water, hold and write with a pencil, turn the page of a book, hit a golf ball into the hole, etc.)
  • difficulty with “postural stability”; i.e. the ability to hold and maintain one’s postural muscles and responses, giving you a sense of security and safety during movement As a result, proprioception is impaired and “emotional security” suffers. Children with proprioceptive dysfunction, who are unable to move and use their body effectively can become easily frustrated, give up, and lose self-confidence. It is truly difficult to watch these kids try SO HARD and not be able to do what they want to do. :0( Keeping in mind the aforementioned difficulties a child will have if this sense is not doing it’s job correctly, you will quickly notice some of the following

Signs Of Proprioceptive Dysfunction:

If they are under responsive to proprioceptive input (i.e. sensory seeking) they will…

  • walk to hard, push too hard, bang too hard write too hard, play with objects too hard, etc.
  • be the loud ones, rough ones, crashers, movers, shakers, runners, jumpers, and bouncers (i.e. an insatiable bundle of energy!)
  • shake his legs or constantly bang the back of his foot on the floor/chair while sitting in class
  • play too rough (often hurting himself or others), jump off of or crash into ANYTHING he can
  • crack his knuckles, chew on his fingers, bite his nails until they bleed, chew on pens, gum, pencils, clothing collars, sleeves, or strings, or inedible objects (i.e. paper clips, pieces of toys etc.)
  • enjoys TIGHT clothes (i.e. turtlenecks, tight belts, hoods, hats, jackets zipped ALL the way up, tight pajamas etc.)

If they have poor motor planning, body awareness, or motor control, they will…

  • have difficulty climbing, running, riding a bike, doing jumping jacks, hitting a ball, roller skating, etc.
  • have difficulty tying shoes or knowing how to move his body when you help him get dressed/undressed
  • frequently bump into objects and people accidentally
  • trip and fall often
  • have difficulty learning to go up and down stairs, and may be frightened by them (escalators too)

Signs of postural instability will include…

  • slumping at desk, dinner table etc.
  • appear to be “limp” and lethargic all the time
  • needing to rest his head on his hands or lay his head down on his arm on the desk/table while working
  • having poor posture during motor tasks
  • being unable to stand on one foot and have difficulty with any balancing tasks
    As a result of proprioceptive dysfunction, and the struggles/challenges these children must face everyday just trying to accomplish normal childhood activities, they may become “emotionally insecure”. They may avoid many typical play experiences, become shy, be afraid to try anything new, lack self-confidence and self-esteem. If you have a child you think may show signs of proprioceptive dysfunction then highly recommend you talk to Grow up ClinicIf you have, or know, a child who has a sensory processing disorder, please understand there is a NEUROLOGICAL reason they are doing these things!

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