SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER
What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a complex disorder of the brain that affects developing children. Children with SPD misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound, and movement. Some feel bombarded by sensory information; others seek out intense sensory experiences or have other problems. This can lead to behavioral problems, difficulties with coordination, and other issues.
Signs of sensory processing disorder:
- Under reactivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
- Specific learning difficulties /delays in academic achievement
- Difficulty in making transitions from one situation to another
- Tendency to be easily distracted / Limited attention control
- Activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
- Social and/or emotional problems
- Difficulty learning new movements
- Delays in speech, language, or motor skills
- Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
- Impulsive, lacking in self-control
- Inability to unwind or calm self
- Poor self concept / body awareness
Children who have challenges in the proprioceptive and/or vestibular sensory system often display motor delays, poor muscle tone, handwriting difficulties, or postural problems. They may be clumsy and awkward and have trouble with coordination in sports and other activities.
Children who are over-responsive to sensation exhibit "sensory defensiveness" – an aversion to touch, sound, light, or other sensory input. Many of these children are fussy babies who grow into toddlers and grade schoolers who are anxious, have trouble making transitions, have frequent tantrums or meltdowns, and/or have difficulty in social situations.
In another subtype of SPD, children who are sensory seekers are often thought to have ADHD because the behaviors their craving for sensory input produces look like some behaviors of Attention Deficit Disorder.
The following link provides more information on types of Sensory Processing Disorder: http://www.sinetwork.org/subtypes.html
Factors that contribute to sensory processing disorder include:
- premature birth
- autism and other developmental disorders
- learning disabilities
- delinquency and substance abuse due to learning disabilities
- stress-related disorders
- brain injury