What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory processing disorder is a neurological condition.

Kids with this disorder receive and process sensory information in unique ways. With this processing difficulty they may be slower in reaching their developmental goals and present with learning and attention difficulties.

Why SPD is like a Sensory Traffic Jam

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?A. Jean Ayres PhD a pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist describes it like having a traffic jam in the brain. Part of the brain does not receive information correctly and another part of the brain does not know what to do with the information it has received.

This sensory traffic jam makes it more difficult for the child with SPD to interpret and appropriately act upon information from his or her senses. This makes what we perceive as a simple task difficult.

SPD Symptoms

Children with SPD can be clumsier, unsettled and are easily upset. Normal school routines can cause anxiety. This sensory confusion makes it difficult to meet learning milestones and behaviour expectations at school. With SPD the problems are chronic and frustrating for the entire family.

SPD has a broad spectrum of symptoms. It can affect only one sense or all senses. It can be mildly disruptive to learning and everyday life or disabling.

SPD symptoms usually fall into two categories when assessed. Kids with with Sensory Processing Disorder (also called Sensory Integration Dysfunction) are either hypersensitive (over responsive) or hypo- sensitive (under-responsive). Many have SPD problems with their muscles and joints.

Hypersensitive Symptoms

Kids with hypersensitive SPD symptoms find labels and textures of clothing irritating. They may not like physical contact and find bright lights, music and certain sounds irritating and unbearable.

They react strongly to what kids without the disorder would find normal and get overwhelmed easily.

Some of these kids are on overdrive and misdiagnosed for ADHD. These kids hear a whisper as a shout, a clothing tag feels like a sharp stick digging into them and faint background noise can be as loud as a person talking directly to them.

Hyposensitive Symptoms

Kids who have an under performing sensory system will show a slower reaction to pain or extreme hot or cold. They may be slow to respond to stimuli and crave high energy loud activities.

Kids with muskeletal systems that are affected may have poor motor skills and posture. They may have been floppy babies and are uncoordinated.

These kids process instructions slowly, take time to tune in and grasp what is going on and may seem to lack empathy because they have a high tolerance to pain and discomfort.

Those kids with autism spectrum disorders often have problems integrating sensory input but there are many kids who have SPD symptoms and not have any other disorder.

SPD is often confused with ADHD so it is important to get a professional assessment from an occupational therapist who specialized in SPD and related therapies.

Easy Sharing: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

What Is Sensory Technique Integration Therapy?
Sensory Processing Disorder isn't a recognized medical diagnosis yet. Without the diagnostic crit [more]
Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist for School Age Kids
Sensory processing issues can become more apparent in school age children. Sitting still, paying [more]
Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist for Teens
Here is a checklist of typical teen SPD symptoms to use as a guide for helping your teen. SPD in [more]
Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist for Preschoolers
A Helpful Checklist for Preschoolers with Sensory Processing Disorder Preschool is a busy develop [more]
A Sensory Processing Disorder Check-list for Toddlers
What You Need to Know About SPD or Sensory Processing Disorder for Toddlers A normal week for a t [more]
What is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Sensory processing disorder is a neurological condition. Kids with this disorder receive and proc [more]