Sensory discrimination


is the ability to DIFFERENTIATE
among and between various SENSORY STIMULI
and to organize them according to their characteristics.

It allows us to PERCEIVE:

The QUALITY of sensations

  • How fast am I moving?
  • Where am I?
  • Is my voice loud?
  • Are my shoes tight?
  • Is snow cold?

SIMILARITIES between sensations

  • Have I heard this song before?
  • Did I raise my left arm as high as my right?
  • Is the fur of this rabbit the same as my cat’s fur?

DIFFERENCES between sensations

  • Do I hear the word water or waver?
  • Does the signal mean stop or attention?
  • Which train is moving? The one I’m on, or the one next to me?

Children with SENSORY DISCRIMINATION disorder are aware that a stimulus is present and can modulate their response appropriately, but many will have difficulty appreciating the QUALITIES, DIFFERENCES and SIMILARITIES of the stimulus.
As a result, these children take longer to process and interpret the information.

Sensory discrimination disorder can manifest itself in one or more of the sensory ways.

Tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive are more likely to result in motor difficulties (poor balance reactions, low muscular tone) and clumsiness.

Visuals or auditory: many result in learning or language difficulty.

Good sensory discrimination is the basis of a sound understanding of one’s body. 

In the case of poor body sensory discrimination, we may observe the following difficulties:

  • inability to identify which part of the body has been hurt in a fall,
  • having poor balance,
  • inability to gauge the speed,
  • inability to gauge if pencil pressure is too strong or too weak to write,
  • inability to identify sounds, colors, or other visual details.

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