Proprioception in Autism

June 9, 2023

Proprioception is an essential sensory system that allows us to perceive the position, movement, and force applied to our body. It relies on receptors located in our muscles, tendons, and joints, sending signals to the brain, helping us maintain balance, coordination, and body awareness.

Whether you have heard about proprioception or not, you can clearly recognize its importance. However, children with autism may struggle to regulate this sensory system, leading to a slew of sensory issues that can impact things like 

  • Motor Skills
  • Body Awareness
  • Coordination
  • Posture 
  • Pressure Regulation
  • Spatial Awareness, etc. 

Children with sensory issues related to proprioception may struggle with tasks like climbing stairs, catching a ball, or using utensils for eating. These difficulties can affect their motor development, hinder their play and social interactions, and impact their overall independence.

ABA therapy, administered by experienced professionals, offers targeted interventions to address proprioceptive challenges in children with autism. ABA therapy employs evidence-based strategies to support the development of proprioceptive skills and effectively address proprioception sensory issues in kids with ASD, such as: 

  • Sensory Integration Techniques– Sensory sensitivity can be addressed by ABA therapists by incorporating sensory integration activities into therapy sessions to enhance proprioceptive functioning. These activities may include deep pressure exercises, resistance-based tasks, or activities that involve heavy work, stimulating and engaging the proprioceptive system.
  • Task Analysis & Reinforcement– ABA therapy breaks down motor skills into smaller, achievable steps, providing clear instructions and visual support to help children understand and perform movements correctly. 
  • Generalization & Maintenance– Sensory issues in toddlers can be addressed in ABA therapy through the generalization of skills beyond therapy sessions. Therapists may work on transferring improved proprioceptive abilities to everyday situations, promoting independence and confidence in real-life activities. Maintenance strategies ensure that progress is sustained over time.

Sensory issues, including challenges related to proprioception, can present unique hurdles for children with autism. However, with the right support and intervention, remarkable progress is possible–and we are here to provide that support to your child! 

At Step Forward ABA we address proprioception sensory issues in toddlers through ABA therapy. Offering in-home, at-school, and center-based ABA therapy services, we tackle sensory sensitivity using evidence based techniques such as task analysis, sensory integration, generalization, and more. 

Understanding that your child’s sensory issues differ from other children with ASD, we develop customized ABA therapy treatments that are geared toward helping your child develop his/her specific skills and work toward specific goals. Sensory issues in kids with autism are common, but with our help we can help your child learn how to overcome sensory issues and lead a more confident and comfortable life. Contact us today to learn more about ABA therapy for sensory issues in toddlers throughout Florida, and New Mexico. 

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