Sensory Processing

  1. What is SP (Sensory Processing)?
  2. Senses and Sensations
  3. The five types
  4. The five types examples
  5. The Sensory Fan-model

The five types

Sensory types

Below we explain the five different sensory processing ‘types’. You can recognize a type by looking at a person’s behavior, because this will give clues as to their way of sensory processing. We call that: looking through the SPi-glasses (Sensory Processing-glasses). With the SPi-glasses on you can see that some people have problems processing sensory input.

The four types -the ones which deviate from the first type, which is neutral- were developed by Winnie Dunn (Dunn’s model of sensory processing, 1997). She was the first to describe these four different profiles of sensory processing.

You can download and use an overview of characteristics (with reference to the source). In this document you will also find an addition of behavior that you can see in people with intellectual disabilities when they are under or overstimulated. Download here the List of type of behaviors of the four types.

Too little or too much sensory input

The first 4 types all have a different way of dealing with their problematic sensory processing, they differ from the average (the average of neutral sensory processing). You may differ by either being aware of too little sensory input (much of this input is labeled as ‘boring’ by the brain) or being aware of far too much input (far too much input is labeled ‘VIP’ and ‘interesting’ ). You can see from behavior whether people are looking for input, avoid it or actually do nothing about receiving the wrong amount of input.

To make the differences clearer, we have created quite extreme types. With practice you will start seeing the nuances. Mixed types do also occur, so you may recognize yourself or people around you in multiple types.

Click on the different tabs to the right to view all sensory types.

Different types

Click on the image to download an overview of the different types.

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