Do you know the facts on Sensory Processing Disorder? If you answered no, you are not alone. Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD, is commonly misdiagnosed yet it affects the lives of at least 1 in 20 children. SPD affects how the nervous system receives messages from the senses and then responds to those messages. It mainly affects a person’s motor and behavioral responses.

How does SPD affect children?

For children with SPD, the sensory signals they receive are not detected or channeled into the appropriate responses in their brain. Instances of SPD in children include if they find physical contact unbearable or if they are slow to respond to sensory sensations like extreme hot or cold temperatures.

Everyone has had an occasional difficulty processing and acting appropriately to sensory signals at some point in their lives, but children who suffer from SPD face difficulties performing simple tasks in their everyday life, such as sleeping, getting dressed, or interacting with peers.

SPD is most commonly diagnosed in children, though it can affect people of all ages. If left untreated, it can cause clumsiness, behavioral issues, anxiety, depression and problems in school. One mom’s real story talks about her son’s frequent tantrums.

How do children get SPD? Though there has not been extensive research into how children get SPD, current research shows that it is often inherited or caused by environmental factors.

The treatment for SPD is usually through an occupational therapy program focusing on a regulation, relationship and sensory integration approach. Each individual with SPD should be assessed as each treatment program is different.
For more information about the different types of SPD, treatment and the red flags of SPD, visit the STAR Institute’s website.

Sensory Processing Disorder