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What is it like to be undersensitive to Proprioception?

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

What is Proprioception?

Proprioception is our sense of body awareness.

It allows us to know where our body parts are positioned without looking at them.

It's what we feel when we contract and stretch our muscles and when we squeeze or experience deep pressure.

What does undersensitivity look like?

If you're under-sensitive to it you may:

  • lack awareness of your body's position so may bump into and lean against things

  • use too much or too little pressure - such as when writing or break and drop objects

  • you might like rough rigorous activities and like tight clothing and spaces so as to feel your boundaries

  • you might have difficulty sleeping and sitting still

  • you might have difficulty sitting still and physically stim and

  • move around a lot

  • love biting or hard and chewy foods

  • have anxiety in open spaces so like to stay close to the walls​

What helps?

There are many things that can help such as:

  • Movement like sport, exercise and movement breaks or alternate desks and chairs

  • Stretch and resistant things such as yoga, weights, chew and resistance stim toys

  • Deep pressure like hugs, massages and vibration, weighted objects and tight clothing and spaces

How does this apply to autism?

If you're autistic you can have something called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This means your brain interprets sensory information differently and can mean you notice things others don't. As proprioception is one of our senses autistic brains can be over or undersensitive to it.