The often overlooked significance of Posture in Children with Sensory Processing Challenges

occupational therapy ot posture sensory affirming sensory integration May 31, 2024
The often overlooked significance of Posture in Children with Sensory Processing Challenges

Posture can speak volumes about our emotions, attitudes, and even our personalities. Posture, is not only important for placing our body optimally for function but also plays a role in social interactions, emotional well-being, and cognitive development.

Posture related to Emotions and Attitudes

In children with sensory processing challenges, posture can be a direct reflection of their inner state. Anxious children might hunch their shoulders or tense their bodies, while those feeling confident and secure may stand tall with an open posture. Observing their posture can offer valuable insights into their emotional well-being, allowing caregivers and educators to provide appropriate support and interventions (remember not to presume that we know how a child is feeling).

Posture and Social Relationships

Social interactions heavily rely on non-verbal cues, with posture being a significant component. Children with sensory processing challenges may struggle to interpret or adopt socially congruent postures, impacting their connection with peers and adults. Conversely, unusual postures might be misinterpreted by others, leading to misunderstandings or social exclusion.

Expressing Personality through Posture

Just as in adults, children's posture can convey aspects of their personality. A child who stands confidently may exude leadership qualities, while one who slouches might be perceived as lacking in confidence. Understanding how posture reflects personality traits can aid in tailoring interventions and support strategies to nurture the child's individual strengths.

Posture and Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication encompasses a wide range of cues, including gestures, facial expressions, and body language, all of which are closely tied to posture. Children with sensory processing challenges may struggle with these non-verbal cues, impacting their ability to express themselves clearly or understand others. By improving posture, we can enhance their non-verbal communication skills, facilitating smoother social interactions and emotional expression.

Posture and Cognitive Development

Posture not only influences social interactions but also plays a crucial role in cognitive processes such as learning and memory. Research suggests that maintaining an upright posture can enhance cognitive performance, including attention, concentration, and information retention. For children with sensory processing challenges, addressing posture issues can thus have far-reaching benefits beyond social and emotional well-being, positively impacting their academic achievement and overall cognitive development.


In children with sensory processing challenges, posture may reflect their emotions, foster social connections, and support cognitive development. By recognising the psychological significance of posture and implementing appropriate support and interventions, caregivers, educators, and therapists can empower sensory children to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.

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