Sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste are the five senses we think of first. We need to think about two more; balance (vestibular) and knowing where your body is in space (proprioception). And, often overlooked is interoception which signals needs within your body (i.e. need to use the bathroom).
People with FASD can be hyper-sensitive (very sensitive) or hyposensitive (barely notice) to sensory information. Why does this matter?
Managing the information provided by our senses is critical to our well being. When we are unable to process the information, we cannot react properly. We might not be aware of something. We can overreact or underreact to something.
For example, someone might be very sensitive to light and lights feel painful, or someone might not react to smells and not notice rotten food or smoke. Our senses alert us to risk and danger.
Another example is touch or how things feel to the body. Some people cannot manage being touched,
or the texture of some clothing, or wrinkly bedsheets, or if a bath towel is too rough.
Difficulties with sensory processing impede social abilities and skills and cause challenges in learning or managing daily life.
Sensory integration is often overlooked when considering workplace environments, social outings, classrooms, and homes.