How Sensory Processing Contributes to Constipation in Children

A recent cross-sectional study (LM Little et al. J Pediatr 2019; 210: 141-5) which examined sensory processing and constipaiton included 66 children and 66 control children.

Key finding:

  • Children with chronic constipation had significantly higher sensory scores than matched controls.  This included sensory avoiding (P<.001) and sensory sensitivity (P<.05).

The authors utilized the Child Sensory Profile-2 and the Toileting Habit Profile Questionnaire.

The finding that sensory problems contribute to chronic constipation. In those with over-responsiveness, which was more frequent in this study, this can lead to avoidance behaviors.  In under-responsiveness, children may not realized that they need to defecate which can lead to problems as well.

My take: This study suggests that recognition of how sensory problems contribute to chronic constipation could improve counseling/treatment approaches.

Related blog posts:

Salt Creek Falls, OR

1 thought on “How Sensory Processing Contributes to Constipation in Children

  1. I am an OTR, and I wrote a book on toilet training children with low tone that directly explains both the “why” and the “how” of sensory-based problems related to tone to parents. Children with SPD almost always have poor interoceptive discrimination and behavioral manifestations of sensory processing problems that make training more difficult. “The Practical Guide To Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone” gives parents strategies for success. I also do in-home consultations and phone consults for families outside the NY metro area.

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