What Is Sensory Perception?
Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. It involves both recognising environmental stimuli and also the actions we take in response to these stimuli. It is our sensory experience of the world. Signals go through the nervous system as a result of physical or chemical stimulation of the sensory system.
If a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it fall, does it make a sound?
Sound is created when something vibrates and sends waves of energy into our ears. The stronger the vibrations the louder the sound. The further away you are from the source the fainter the sound. The pitch of a sound is how high or low the sound is. Objects that vibrate quickly produce a high pitch whilst objects that vibrate slowly produce a low pitch. Some big theoretical questions are:
Can objects exist without being perceived?
If we do not perceive the world does it really exist?
If a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it fall does it make a sound?
The answer seems to be split, with substance theory saying that a substance is distinct from its properties, but bundle theory says an object is merely sense data.
The definition of sound, simplified, is a hearable noise.
What Are Sensory Perception Difficulties?
Sensory perception difficulties are when there is a change in the pattern of sensory stimuli followed by an abnormal response to such stimuli. Perception may be increased, decreased or distorted with all 8 of our senses.
This is called sensory perception difficulties.
What Are Sensory Processing Difficulties?
Sensory processing difficulties are when the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes through the senses.
1 in 20 people suffer from sensory processing difficulties and for 1 in 6 of those, it will affect their daily life.
You can have difficulties with just 1 sense or all 8 of your senses. And each sense can be affected differently and this can change depending on how you are feeling and the environment around you.
For more information on sensory processing difficulties check out our blog What Are Sensory Processing Difficulties
How Does It Feel?
My sensory perception can be way off. For example, I can feel pain from the slightest t0uch and I could pick up a baking tray straight from the oven with bare hands and it wouldn’t register until later when I have a burn.
When my eldest child was little I ran a bath of hot water (I know you should run the cold first but we were on a boiler and I would always run out of hot). Anyway, the door went and I popped down to answer it. Upon my return to filling the bath, Jamie had climbed into a boiling hot bath! I screamed with fear when I saw them in there but Jamie didn’t understand why I was so upset as according to them the bath was cold!
It is so different for everyone and can affect one or more of our 8 senses. But it can also be quite dangerous!
How Can We Help?
It isn’t easy living with sensory difficulties but there is help and support, check out Lorraine’s video on sensory processing difficulties.
By understanding our senses we can learn to help and support ourselves and our loved ones and put helpful strategies in place.
There are some really easy and simple strategies that you can use to help your senses. You can take try our sensory profiling tool here which will give you some insight into how you can help.
You can join our amazing Sensory Support Group on Facebook where you can chat to like-minded people and help each other out.
Or why not send us a message and we can see how we can help.