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Definitions Gallery

Ability to Screen Input

Ability to Screen Input: The ability to register sensory stimuli but to choose to

ignore it.

  • Having a conversation in a restaurant when there is a lot of background noise

  • Looking forward while walking in a line and ignoring other commotion in the sidewalk

  • Allowing someone to lean on you but not be distracted by this touch while listening during circle time 


Auditory: The sense of sound

  • Hearing or not hearing sounds

  • Registering sound

  • Knowing where the sound comes from

  • Giving meaning to the sound

  • Controlling one's voice level 



Behavior: Behavior is fed by our ability to process a variety of sensory stimuli.  Behavior is at the top of the developmental hierarchy, thus many skills such as good sensory processing, mature reflexes and good coordination must be in place to support optimal behavior.  


Directionality: The ability to know left and right and to use them in relation to your own body and your environment. 

  • Visualizing directions

  • Following directions from point A to point B

  • Reading a map

  • Following choreographed movements


Gustatory: The sense of taste

  • Eating food

  • Liking flavors or not

  • Tolerating different textures of foods 

Ocular Motor Control

Ocular Motor Control: Muscular control and coordination of both eyes working

together in all directions and smoothly.

  • Visually scanning a page with both eyes focused on the same target

  • Following the motion of others in one's environment

  • Shifting focus from the wall to your notebook

Postural Security

Postural Security: The ability to control one’s body in different positions.

  • Sitting in a chair or at circle time

  • Stabilizing body during gross motor activities


Reflex Maturity

Reflex Maturity: Reflexes are automatic movements that occur when one is

stimulated by touch or a specific motion. These automatic movements are present in infancy in order to get the body moving but one gains voluntary control over the

movements at an expected pace. Reflexes mature during toddlerhood except those

needed for long-term personal protection. Immature or under-integrated reflexes can cause learning difficulties. 


Visual: The sense of sight including acuity and recognition of things in our


  • Needing glasses vs. not needing glasses

  • Tolerating light

  • Recognizing shapes

  • Finding things in busy visual environment 

Academic Learning

Academic learning the skills of life are at the top of the developmental pyramid.  


If the foundational skills of sensory processing, reflex maturity, cross-lateral brain processing and other skills are not fully developed or supported, then learning may be a challenge.  Addressing the underlying developmental needs will greatly support successful long-term learning and confidence. 

Auditory Language  Skills

Auditory Language skills: Connecting sounds together to mean something.

  • Early language used in communication

  • Reading

  • Reading comprehension

  • Following directions

Body Scheme

Body Scheme: Ability to relate to one's self.

  • Knowing one's arm as different from a neighbors arm

  • Knowing where to stand in line

  • Related to dressing oneself 


Executive Function Skills


  • Sustained attention

  • Task initiation

  • Planning and prioritizing

  • Organization

  • Emotional control o Flexibility

  • Response inhibition

  • Time management

  • Goal oriented persistence

  • Working memory

  • Metacognition 


Laterality: Having an innate sense of one’s body and knowing the difference between your left and right side. Being able to use one side upon request with thinking about it. 


Olfactory: The sense of smell

  • Smelling food being cooked

  • Smelling bad odors 

Attention Center Functions

The ability to attend to ones’ environment, social partners, and learning materials (including other executive function skills).


Never consider attention difficulties in isolation. Other neurodevelopmental needs must be well developed in order to support good attention. Lower level skills/development (strength, coordination, sensory processing, health, etc.) MUST be addressed before an isolated diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and/or medications should be considered. 


Awareness of two sides of the body

Awareness of Two Sides of Body: Knowing that we have two sides of the body and

using them together.

  • Lacing beads

  • Doing jumping jacks

  • Writing

  • Learning left from right

  • Bilateral Coordination is the ability to use the two sides of the body together.

Daily Living Activities

Daily Living Activities: Self-care skills for everyday living.

  • Dressing

  • Grooming

  • Home management skills

  • Work skills

  • Cooking/eating 

Eye-Hand Coordination

Eye-hand coordination: Using the hand (foot) in combination with the visual system

to complete a motor task.

  • Catching

  • Throwing

  • Kicking

  • Bicycle riding

  • Drawing

  • Getting dressed 

Motor Planning

Motor Planning: The ability to mentally plan a series of physical actions and follow

through with the plan.

  • Going through an obstacle course

  • Writing out one's name

  • Sequencing the steps to…

  • Putting away personal belongings or getting dressed 

Postural Adjustment

Postural Adjustment: Higher level postural control specific to a gross motor task

including strength, endurance and flexibility.

  • Sitting in various positions and environments for a long time

  • Following a movement class


Proprioception: Knowing where one’s body is in space.

  • Standing in line

  • Sitting in circle time

  • Controlling body force in sports 

Reading Disorder

Reading Disorder: Having difficulty acquiring the skills of reading including:,developing strong letter-sound correspondence  (phoneme awareness, phonics, rapid recall) reading fluency, and reading comprehension.


Reading disorders can be visually-based or auditory-based or both.  Underlying reflexes must also be mature in order to support efficient reading skills.


Tactile: The sense of touch

  • Touch

  • Tolerating touch light & feel

  • Tolerating 'messy play' 


Vestibular: How one registers and tolerates movement.

  • Running

  • Spinning

  • Swinging

  • Car rides

  • Playground play

Visual Spatial Perception

Visual-Spatial Perception: Using one’s eyes to recognize, recall, and find shapes and

objects in a picture or one’s environment.

  • Learning letters, shapes, sight words

  • Finding socks in drawer or papers in a book bag

  • Physically navigating an obstacle course or a busy environment


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