The Dunn’s Model of Sensory Processing proposes four basic patterns of sensory processing which are emerged from the interaction of the neurological threshold and self-regulation. Neurological threshold is a personal range of threshold for noticing and responding to different sensory events in everyday life. People who have low sensory threshold would notice and respond to stimuli more often because their neurological system activates easier and more readily to sensory events. On the other hand, people who have high sensory threshold often miss stimuli that others notice easily because their neurological system requires stronger stimuli to activate. Self-regulation is a continuum of behavioral construct. One end indicates those who have a passive strategy towards sensory events, for instance, remaining at a place with many sensory inputs that makes him/her feel uncomfortable and reacts with frustration. The other end indicates people who utilize an active strategy, for instance, adjusting one’s position to get a manageable amount of sensory input. Therefore, the four patterns can be resulted from the intersection of the neurological threshold and self-regulation; they are (1) sensation seeking (high threshold and active self-regulation strategy), (2) sensory avoiding (low thresholds and active self-regulation strategy), (3) sensory sensitivity (low threshold and passive self-regulation strategy), and (4) low registration (high threshold and passive self-regulation strategy). Individuals with extreme responses to sensory event are likely to have interfered daily life. This model provides assessment and intervention strategies for therapists in promoting people’s participation in important domains.
- Macey Cho
- Model (conceptual)
- Sensory processing disorder
Domain of occupation
This model provides specific intervention strategies for supporting individuals with different patterns of sensory processing.
Dunn, W. (2007). Supporting children to participate successfully in everyday life by using sensory processing knowledge. Infant and Young Children, 20, 84-101.
- Winnie Dunn
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