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There are Actually 8 Ways to Make "Sense"

2 min read

When we hear the term “senses” we immediately think of the Five Senses we were taught in school:

  1. Sight (Visual Sense)
  2. Sound (Auditory Sense)
  3. Taste (Gustatory Sense)
  4. Touch (Tactile Sense)
  5. Smell (Olfactory Sense)

These are what’s called our Environmental Senses where everybody who is around us also experiences the same senses and understands what it feels like. Example, if you hear a loud noise, everybody hears it; if you see a squirrel, everyone sees that squirrel. These senses are important in needing to protect and connect us from the world around us.

However, there are three additional senses that are not very well-known:

  1. Vestibular
  2. Proprioceptive
  3. Interoceptive

These last three are our Internal Senses where it is more private (compared to the Environmental Senses), and no one can know what if feels like except to that individual person. 

Vestibular sense happens in our inner ear where we take in sensations about gravity and where our body is in space. Every time we move our head we are activating the vestibular sense.

Proprioceptive sense receptors are in our muscles and joints.It activates when we flex and extend our arms and legs. We use this sense to help our bodies move and (when working correctly) we can walk and get dressed without having to put much thought to it.

Both Vestibular and Proprioceptive senses help us tell our body where it is in space.  It tells us how gravity is pulling down on us and how to keep our balance. Simple tasks like walking and driving a car could not be done without these two senses.

Interoceptive sense receptors are in our internal organs. It is used for us to know when we are hungry, when to use the restroom, and when we are full or in any kind of pain.

All eight senses develop naturally starting from birth. 

When a child has reached kindergarten years, his/her sensory processing has developed enough that he or she is able to learn.

However if the sensory processing is not working as it should, a “sensory development delay” can cause many behavioral and learning difficulties.

Next blog…learn what a “sensory diet” is (and no it has nothing to do with food).

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