Common Terms Areas Addressed Common Diagnoses
Additional Diagnoses Common Techniques Milestones

Commonly Used Terms and/or Definitions

Bilateral Coordination
Ability to use two sides of the body to work together

Body scheme
Internal representation of the body; the brain’s “map” of the body

Central Nervous System (CNS)
Structural and functional center of the entire nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord

Integrates incoming pieces of sensory information, evaluates the information, and initiates a motor response based on that information

Separation of movements from one particular part of the body

Example: moving the arms without having to move the head

A condition in which the individual has difficulty with praxis

Gravitational Insecurity
Condition in which there is a tendency to react negatively and fearfully to movement, particularly those involving a change in head position and movement backward or upward through space

Hyperresponsivity or Over-responsive
A disorder of sensory modulation in which the individual is overwhelmed by ordinary sensory input and reacts defensively to it, often with a strong negative emotion/reaction

Hyporesponsivity or Under responsive
A disorder of sensory modulation in which the individual tends to be relatively unaffected by sensory stimulation to which most people respond

Motor Planning
Process of organizing a plan for action

This aspect of praxis is a cognitive process that precedes the performance of a new action

The organization of sensory data into meaningful units

Components of muscles, joints, and tendons that provide a person with a subconscious awareness of body position

Signs of dysfunction include:

  • Clumsiness,

  • Decreased body awareness

  • Position in space

  • Body posturing

  • Delayed gross motor skill development

  • Decreased manipulation of small items

Ability to conceptualize, organize, and execute motor tasks

Sensory Defensiveness
A condition characterized by hyperresponsiveness in one or more sensory systems

Sensory discrimination
Ability to distinguish between different sensory stimulation
Used to refer to the ability to make fine distinctions between stimulations

For example: discriminating between two points of touch or differentiating between similar sounds

Sensory Integration
Organization of sensation for use

Complex set of processes in the CNS that include modulation, perpetual, and praxic function

Sensory Modulation
Tendency to generate responses that are appropriately graded in relation to incoming sensation, neither under reacting nor over reacting to the incoming sensory input

Sensory Processing
Handling of sensory information by neural systems

Sensory Registration
Process by which the CNS attends to stimulation

Ability to appropriately order a series of actions

Important characteristic of motor planning

Ability to replicate a series of sensory stimuli in the correct order

Pertaining to the tactile and proprioceptive systems

Tactile System
Nerves under the skin’s surface that send information to the brain regarding: touch, pain, temperature, pressure

Signs of dysfunction or tactile defensiveness:

  • Resistance to hugs

  • Resistance to dirt or dirty hands

  • Resistive towards hair and/or nail cutting

  • Resistive towards washing hands/face

  • Manipulates objects with tips of fingers versus whole hand grasp

Tactile Defensiveness
Condition in which there is a tendency to react negatively and emotionally to touch sensations

Pertaining to the inner ear receptors and structures that detect head position and movement as well as gravity

Signs of dysfunction:

  • Fearful responses towards changing head positions

  • Apprehensive toward walking ascending/descending inclines or unstable surfaces

  • Appear unsteady in normal walking

  • Constantly moving and seeking stimulation

Visual Perception
Total process responsible for the reception and cognition of visual stimuli
Requires taking information in from the environment, interpreting it, and putting that information to use.