All Things Sensory by Harkla

#173 - What is Overflow and Why is it Important to Know About?

October 06, 2021 Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L Episode 173
All Things Sensory by Harkla
#173 - What is Overflow and Why is it Important to Know About?
Show Notes

Have you ever found yourself sticking your tongue out while concentrating on an activity, like cutting something or backing up your car? That’s called overflow, or overflow-associated movements. Although many of us do it, sometimes overflow can be a cause for concern. 

In today’s episode, we define what overflow is and give some examples of how it can present itself. You’ll hear about when this would be visible during an OT session, along with what some red flags would be. Overflow itself isn’t an issue, but it can be, depending on the underlying cause. We also discuss how to help children with overflow. 

Wrapping up, we begin the new Q&A segment of our show, where we answer two listener questions. Tune in to hear it all!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Defining overflow and examples of how it can manifest.
  • Overflow is normal and it is a part of the development process.
  • If you don’t see some overflow during infancy, that might be cause for concern.
  • Some of what we might see during an OT session during fine and gross motor activities.
  • Who struggles with overflow and the reasons they have difficulties.
  • What you can do to help children who display overflow when they shouldn’t be.
  • Listener Q&A:
    • Tricks for children who hate having their faces wiped. 
    • How to help children who have meltdowns when they get home after school.

Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.

Brought To You By Harkla

This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. We accomplish this through high-quality sensory products, child development courses, & The Harkla Sensory Club.

Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla with the discount code "sensory". Head to to start shopping now.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

All Things Sensory on Instagram
All Things Sensory on Facebook
Primitive Reflex Integration Training