Proprioception is one of our eight major senses. It relates to our understanding of where our body is in the world. This is not a conscious act, it is our brain interacting with our joints and muscles so that we can move around and know our position in relation to other things or people. Our proprioceptive abilities enable us to exert the right amount of pressure when we hold or press things, they help us prevent injury to ourselves and others and they contribute to our balance and posture, alongside our vestibular and interoceptive senses.

It is common for neurodivergent people to have poor proprioception. Which means we may be familiar with some or all of the following:

Hypersensitive and hyposensitive examples

  • A reputation for being clumsy – lots of bruises, small injuries, misjudgements that lead us to fall, trip and bash into things that look, to us, like there is plenty of room for us to move through. It’s baffling to us and to others!
  • Carrying a drink or a plate of food may often seem like the ultimate challenge, even when we’re concentrating so hard.
  • We tend to prefer clothing that gives us the feeling of compression if we are hyposensitive or very loose clothing if we are hypersensitive.
  • Our judgement in sports, in physical contact with other people and with objects can, again, seem clumsy. Often we can cause unintentional damage because we throw too hard, play too hard, press too hard, or we may do the opposite and barely throw a ball or write hard enough to be seen on a piece of paper, depending on whether we are hyper or hypo sensitive.
  • We can be hyperactive and struggle to move around at a steady pace or vice versa.
  • We tend to prefer food and objects that are extremely tactile and varied or vice versa.

Do you see how hugely these signs overlap with others related to hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity? It’s almost impossible to separate them!

For broader information on sensory sensitivity please click here → to return to hypersensitivity and here → to return to hyposensitivity.