Interoception: Decoding Body Signals

In Child Development, Kid's Activities, Occupational Therapy, Pediatric Occupational Therapy by Advance TherapyLeave a Comment

Interoception: the feeling or know what is happening in your body, for example if you are thirsty, hungry, hot, cold ect. (Cambridge University Press, 2022). This is a sense that we often overlook, called the ‘hidden sense.’ There are receptors throughout our bodies in our internal organs, bones, muscles, and skin. These receptors help our brain tell us how we feel; hungry, cold, thirsty, and even when we have to go to the bathroom. The ability to decode body signals help us function throughout our day and meet our needs. 

If this system is working properly, a person is able to sense  and decode what their body needs at a specific time. This means they are good at recognizing sensations. If this system is not working correctly, a person may be over-responding to sensations, or under-responding. Either way this can cause problems for the person. It leads to confusion on what the body is telling them, and their reactions may be inappropriate for the type of sense they are feeling. It can lead to anxiety, or unexpected behaviors. Oftentimes I see these behaviors in the clinic and we have to work through to the root of these behaviors. I can try to correct the behaviors with basic behavioral management, but if I don’t know the root of the problem then it’s really hard to correct and overcome the behaviors. 

Therapy can help work through these issues and teach kids awareness and how to decode body signals  through activities. We work on sensory integration and processing, development, regulation of emotions, as well as problem-solving. 


Cambridge University Press . (2022). Interoception. INTEROCEPTION definition | Cambridge English Dictionary. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from 

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