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Gustatory Sensory System
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Interesting Facts You Must Know About Gustatory Sensory System.

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    WHAT IS GUSTATORY SENSORY SYSTEM?

    The Gustatory sensory system mainly works for the perception of any type of taste or flavor. Actually a good sum of gustatory cells called the taste receptor cells is present on the surface of the tongue on the taste buds. These cells have a special property of perception of each flavor separately. Some of the cells of the gustatory sensory system  are responsible for detection of salty taste, some for bitter and sour taste, a few for sweet taste and only a small number for the perception of the least common taste called “Umami” which is present in all cheesy foods.

    How does the gustatory sensory system process the taste sensation?

    The gustatory sensory system works by the transmission of taste signals from the taste cells to the brain via the nerves.  The gustatory sensory system works by transmitting the signals first to the brainstem where the unconscious perception of taste is developed.  If the taste is perceived as unpleasant or bitter, immediate reaction by the gustatory sensory system is shown in the form of nausea and vomiting. 

    The gustatory sensory system is responsible for the transferring of the pleasant or unpleasant information of taste to the amygdala for the memory storage. This means every time the person is going to eat that specific unpleasant food, the gustatory sensory system recalls the information and the person automatically rejects the unpleasant food.

    What are the organs of the gustatory sensory system? 

    The most prominent organs for the taste perception in the gustatory sensory system are the taste buds. Each taste bud has many taste receptor cells and a few supporting cells. Taste receptors open out at the taste pore on the surface of the tongue and this is the part of the gustatory sensory system which detects the different tastes. The supporting cells of the gustatory sensory system are responsible for the maintenance of the taste cell population. 

    Best activities for gustatory sensory system

    Following are the activities that are performed for the betterment of the gustatory sensory system. If any child is suffering from the defects of gustatory sensory system, these activities are practiced:

    • Chewing gums improve the gustatory sensory system
    • Using the vibrating toothbrushes 
    • Practice blowing bubbles
    • Sucking the liquids with the straw corrects the gustatory sensory system defects 
    • Increasing the use of edible jewelry or the chewable toys that help improves the gustatory sensory system defects in children
    • One of the most valuable activities for the improvement of the gustatory sensory system is blowing whistles and songs.

    SENSORY INTEGRATION DISORDER

    What is sensory integration disorder?

    All the information from the five senses is interpreted by the nervous system, especially the brain. This interpretation of sensory information is called sensory integration. Sensory integration disorder is defined as the defect in sensory integration. This condition is also called sensory processing disorder SPD.

    Sensory integration disorder creates a sense of hypersensitivity or hypo sensitivity among the affected individuals. In the sensory integration disorder, the processing of information from all types of senses for example tactile, taste, auditory, visual and smell is greatly affected. Such individuals face different responses to light or sound stimuli. The sensory integration disorder markedly impairs the ability of response to physical contact. 

    What are the causes of sensory integration disorder?

    The main cause of the sensory integration disorder is the multifactorial inheritance. This mode of inheritance involves both genetic and environmental causes. 

    What are the symptoms of sensory integration disorder?

    The sensory integration disorder is characterized by a wide range of symptoms. All of these symptoms lead to the worsening of sensitivity to the stimuli of all types. Some of the most common symptoms observed in children with the sensory integration disorder are:

    • The affected individuals show the increased resistance to different textures in clothing.
    • Children with the sensory integration disorder show increased sensitivity to the different tastes in food.
    • The individuals show increased frustration towards the noisy stimuli like the parties and busy places.
    • Children with the sensory integration disorder rarely tolerate the smells.
    • Many types of behavioral abnormalities are observed in children affected with the sensory integration disorder.

    SENSORY DISORDERS IN CHILDREN

    What are the sensory disorders in children?

    Sensory disorders in children are a group of diseases that affect the way the body responds to normal sensory stimuli. The children affected with the sensory disorders show altered perception and hyper activity towards any stimuli that triggers their senses.

    What are the symptoms of sensory disorders in children?

    The most common categories of symptoms of the sensory disorders in children are listed below:

    • Hyper activity towards the sensory stimuli
    • Increased resistance towards hugs
    • Increased frequency of putting things in mouth
    • Fleeing without caring for safety

    Some of the sensory disorders in children cause hypo sensitivity in them. This means that the sensory disorders in children induce a low degree response even to the high frequency stimuli. These low activity symptoms include:

    • Continuous bumping into walls
    • Constantly touching the things
    • Frequently crashing into other people or things. This phenomenon is observed in children affected with sensory disorders when they are in public places.

    What are the types of sensory disorders in children?

    The sensory disorders in children are of following main types:

    1. Autism spectrum disorder ASD
    2. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD
    3. Obsessive compulsive disorder OCD

    How to diagnose sensory disorders in children?

    The sensory disorders in children are diagnosed when they are seen showing some abnormalities. Following are the diagnostic features for sensory disorders in children:

    • Abnormal behavior towards the normal activities
    • If the child has been much clumsy from some recent time
    • If the child is unable to stand or move
    • The child feels difficulty in managing the emotions when affected by the sensory disorders. 
    • Sensory disorders in children cause them to completely forget the surroundings.

    Treatment of sensory disorders in children

    Followings are the treatments opted for the correction of sensory disorders in children:

    Physical therapy is used which employs the use of various sensory activities to enhance the sensory skills.

    Occupational therapy is implemented in which an occupational or parent is advised to practice the various activities by the children with sensory disorders.

    Sensory integration therapy

    What are the activities for sensory disorders in children?

    Here is a list of activities that must be practiced for the improvement of symptoms of sensory disorders in children:

    Scratch and sniff painting activity

    This activity for sensory disorder in children improves all the tactile and smell sensations. Children are given the flavored paints with few paint brushes. Once they have completed the paintings and they are dried, children are advised to scratch the paints with hand and sniff the smell. This activity promotes the response to all senses experienced by the children with sensory disorders.

    Twister games 

    This game improves motor skills in case of sensory disorders in children. It encourages the affected children to use their muscles and joints to twist themselves in different positions.

    Puzzle playing

    All the sensory disorders in children greatly hamper their ability to think and imagine. This activity is designed to restore the imagination and creativity among the children affected with this disorder.

    Dance activities

    These activities are encouraged to practice by the children with the sensory disorders. All the sensory disorders in children reduce their motor skills and such affected children prefer to play alone and avoid the social interactions. To avoid these symptoms, parents or instructors ask the child to mimic their dance steps.

    SENSORY SEEKING BEHAVIOUR

    What is meant by sensory seeking behavior?

    Sensory seeking behavior includes all the responses expressed by the affected children to meet their sensory needs.  The purpose of this sensory seeking behavior is to obtain a striking response from the environment around the children. Many of the children suffering from autism develop in them a sort of sensory seeking behavior.

    What are the symptoms of sensory seeking behavior?

    The children and adults affected by this sensory seeking behavior want to obtain feedback. So, they use different bodily movements and various parts of the body in coordination to seek attention. Some of the behaviors expressed by the children suffering from the sensory seeking behavior are as below:

    • Rapid body movements such as hair twirling and clapping
    • Applying pressure and squeezing certain parts of body
    • Chewing or biting fingers and clothes
    • Continuously trying to place objects before the eyes
    • Avoid the bright light by covering the eyes
    • Showing avoidance to smells like perfumes, lotions and air fresheners
    • Showing strong aversions to the specific tastes and foods

    How to treat if your child is suffering from sensory seeking behavior?

     It is necessary to treat children affected with sensory seeking behavior because the behavior markedly reduces sensory perception and alters social behavior and cognition. Treatment of child with sensory seeking behaviors includes:

    Observance of child behavior

    This step ensures that parents have keenly observed their child. It asks the parents to note when their child shows the altered response or behavior and which sensory stimuli cause the child to deviate towards sensory seeking behavior.

    Deciding an intervention

    Evaluation of treatment

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