Closely related to the movement sense is the sense of proprioception which gives us an awareness of body position. It lets us know where our body is in relation to the immediate space around us. It also lets us know how to move our body and how much force we need to use to carry out a task.
When proprioception is processed well, an individual's body position is automatically adjusted and this helps with every aspect of our day eg negotiating our way around objects in a room or preventing us from falling out of a chair.
Proprioception also allows objects such as pencils, buttons, spoons and combs to be skilfully manipulated by the hand or to pick up a glass of water without spilling it.
Our proprioceptive system has receptors located within our muscles and joints. These receptors or sensors are triggered when they are squashed or pulled apart during movement.
The proprioceptive system also has another role – it helps us to modulate and calm our stimulation level so that we can focus.
The video below talks about body awareness and why it is important to include heavy work activities as part of a child's day.
A child that is struggling with body awareness and body position might:
There are a number of ways that you can help a child with their body awareness and body position: