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The Proprioceptive System


Proprioception is the process by which the body can vary muscle contraction in immediate response to incoming information regarding external forces, by utilizing stretch receptors in the muscles to keep track of the joint position in the body.
SIGNS OF PROPRIOCEPTIVE DYSFUNCTION:
1. SENSORY SEEKING BEHAVIORS:
__ seeks out jumping, bumping, and crashing activities
__ stomps feet when walking
__ kicks his/her feet on floor or chair while sitting at desk/table
__ bites or sucks on fingers and/or frequently cracks his/her knuckles
__ loves to be tightly wrapped in many or weighted blankets, especially at bedtime
__ prefers clothes (and belts, hoods, shoelaces) to be as tight as possible
__ loves/seeks out “squishing” activities
__ enjoys bear hugs
__ excessive banging on/with toys and objects
2. DIFFICULTY WITH “GRADING OF MOVEMENT”
__ misjudges how much to flex and extend muscles during tasks/activities (i.e., putting arms into sleeves or climbing)
__ difficulty regulating pressure when writing/drawing; may be too light to see or so hard the tip of writing utensil breaks
__ written work is messy and he/she often rips the paper when erasing
__ always seems to be breaking objects and toys
__ misjudges the weight of an object, such as a glass of juice, picking it up with too much force sending it flying or spilling, or with too little force and complaining about objects being too heavy
__ may not understand the idea of “heavy” or “light”; would not be able to hold two objects and tell you which weighs more
__ seems to do everything with too much force; i.e., walking, slamming doors, pressing things too hard, slamming objects down
__ plays with animals with too much force, often hurting them

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