Bumping into tables. Tripping on thin air. Flapping hands. Lifting weights at the gym. While seemingly unrelated, these four descriptors all represent autistic experiences with the Proprioceptive Sense.
Awareness of the position and movement of the body. Also known as Spatial Awareness or Kinesthesia.
Signs of Unmet Proprioceptive Needs:
-Tripping and stumbling
-Bumping into objects
-Shaking the legs, feet, or hands
-Pushing things with too much/too little force
-Poor hand-eye coordination
-Squeezing the arms, torso, or legs
Exploring Proprioception through Stims:
-Using resistance or rubber bands
-Jumping on trampolines
-Getting firm massages
-Wearing compression clothing
Even more, autistics can explore the sense of proprioception by engaging in athletic activities. However, due to many comorbid conditions, athletics may be painful for autistics. Swimming, gentle yoga, hiking, or indoor rock climbing are a few possibilities for low-resistance proprioceptive athletics.