1 Red flags for Tactile Dysfunction

The Child with Tactile Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • avoids being touched on the face
  • dislikes being held
  • has difficulty with grooming (cutting hair and nails)
  • dislikes having hair washed
  • dislikes taking a shower
  • may react aggressively when touched unexpectedly
  • dislikes when touched even in a friendly way
  • dislikes being kissed
  • avoids messy play
  • avoids going barefoot
  • prefers long sleeves and pants even when the weather is hot
  • is excessively ticklish
  • withdraws from situations
  • avoids sitting close to other children

2 Red flags for Vestibular Dysfunction

The Child with Vestibular Dysfunction – high tolerance to movement has some of the following Symptoms:

  • seems “on the go”
  • has difficulty sitting still
  • needs to keep moving in order to function
  • has difficulty paying attention
  • craves intense movement experiences such as jumping on bed and furniture
  • takes excessive risks during play
  • seems accident-prone
  • does not get dizzy easily
  • enjoys spinning for long periods of time

The Child with Vestibular Dysfunction –Gravitational Insecurity has some of the following Symptoms:

  • becomes anxious when feet leave the ground
  • has a great fear of falling
  • is fearful of climbing
  • avoids playground equipment
  • dislikes having head upside down or tilted backwards
  • avoids jumping activities
  • is very cautious when going up and down stairs
  • seems slow at new movements
  • avoids to walk along uneven surfaces

3 Red flags for Proprioceptive Dysfunction

The Child with Proprioceptive Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • has difficulty with body awareness
  • has difficulty planning new movements
  • has difficulty knowing where his body is in relation to others and objects
  • chews constantly on objects
  • stamps feet on the floor when walking
  • deliberately crashes into objects
  • holds pencils too lightly
  • presses down on paper when writing
  • has difficulty with handwriting and drawing
  • uses a lot of force when playing with toys and may break them
  • has difficulty lifting objects

4 Red flags for Visual Processing Dysfunction

The Child with Visual Processing Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • staying within lines when colouring or writing
  • complains of seen double or blurred
  • has difficulty putting puzzles together
  • has difficulty copying from books
  • has hard time finding something in a drawer
  • has difficulty following a moving object
  • omits words when reading
  • may seem “disorientated”
  • has difficulty with fine motor tasks
  • does not understand concepts such as right/ left, up/down
  • reverses letters and numbers
  • is uncomfortable by moving objects and people

5 Red flags for Auditory Processing Dysfunction

The Child with Auditory Processing Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • is easily distracted with noise
  • has difficulty paying attention
  • seems to misunderstand what is said
  • becomes upset in noisy places
  • seems difficult to understand when speaking
  • has difficulty looking and listening at the same time
  • speaks in a loud voice
  • has a poor vocabulary
  • has difficulty with reading
  • covers ears to protect from sound

6 Red flags for Olfactory (Sense of Smell) Dysfunction

The Child with Olfactory Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • reacts negatively to, or dislikes smells that other children do not notice
  • refuses to eat certain foods because of their smell
  • is a picky eater
  • is nauseated by bathroom odours
  • is bothered/irritated by smell of perfume or cologne
  • is bothered by smell in supermarket
  • may refuse to play with toys because of the way they smell

7 Red flags for Gustatory (Sense of Taste) Dysfunction

The Child with Gustatory Dysfunction has some of the following Symptoms:

  • gags easily with food textures
  • avoids certain tastes
  • is a picky eater
  • craves certain foods
  • may chew on or lick nonfood objects
  • mouths objects
  • has difficulty with sucking, chewing, and swallowing

8 Social and Emotional responses

The Child with Sensory Modulation Disorder will exhibit some of the following Social/ Emotional responses:

  • low self-esteem
  • low self-confidence
  • seems anxious
  • has difficulty tolerating changes in routines
  • has strict routines
  • has difficulty playing with other children
  • is getting upset easily
  • does not persist with tasks/ gives up easily
  • is stubborn or uncooperative
  • has frequent temper tantrums
  • has difficulty making friends
  • does not express emotions
  • needs adult guidance to play
  • ask for adult reassurance
  • has difficulty interacting with other children
  • jumps from one activity to another


SPD Checklist information provided by Hopscotch Children’s Therapy Centre