Proprioception is the sense that allows us to know what position our body parts are in without looking at them. This sense also tells us about the force of our movements. So if we see a cup and want to reach for it, we can judge how much force and speed we are reaching with so we can accurately get our hand to the cup without knocking it over or missing it. We can also tell how hard we need to hold on to lift the cup without squashing it or dropping it. Proprioception is extremely important for body awareness and coordinated movements.

Body awareness is the internal body “map” each of us has that allows us to know where we are, what position we are in, and how we are moving at any given moment. The body map allows us to move without relying on our visual system to guide each movement. Via repeated accurate sensory inputs produced from our motion through space, the body map is created over time as we develop from infancy throughout childhood. Inaccurate sensory perceptions do not allow for the creation of accurate body maps. Children with inaccurate body maps typically rely heavily on their visual systems and have significant difficulty with many aspects of motor skill.