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Sensory Processing Disorder
Transcript of Sensory Processing Disorder
Diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder usually begins with screening, which is basically a professional search for red flags that indicate enough differences in development to warrant a more comprehensive assessment.
Red flags of Sensory Processing Disorder
Infants and toddlers
____ Problems eating or sleeping
____ Refuses to go to anyone but me
____ Irritable when being dressed; uncomfortable in clothes
____ Rarely plays with toys
____ Resists cuddling, arches away when held
____ Cannot calm self
____ Floppy or stiff body, motor delays
Living with SPD
Ten Fundamental Facts About SPD
The causes of SPD are among the subjects that researchers at Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and their collaborators elsewhere have been studying. Preliminary research suggests that SPD is often inherited.
What is SPD?
According to the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation SPD is defined as:
Sensory Processing Disorder
Subtypes of SPD
As the field of sensory integration (SI) has matured and researchers have learned more about this condition, many people have realized that it is time to clarify terminology.
Most children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) are just as intelligent as their peers. Many are intellectually gifted.
“Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as "sensory integration dysfunction") is a condition that exists when sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses.
Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological "traffic jam" that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.
A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively”.
What Sensory Processing Disorder looks like
Sensory Processing Disorder can affect people in only one sense–for example, just touch or just sight or just movement–or in multiple senses.
One person with SPD may over-respond to sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food, or other sensory input to be unbearable.
In children whose sensory processing of messages from the muscles and joints is impaired, posture and motor skills can be affected.
Still other children exhibit an appetite for sensation that is in perpetual overdrive. These kids often are misdiagnosed - and inappropriately medicated - for ADHD.
Sensory Processing Disorder is most commonly diagnosed in children, but people who reach adulthood without treatment also experience symptoms and continue to be affected by their inability to accurately and appropriately interpret sensory messages.
These "sensational adults" may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationships, and recreation. Because adults with SPD have struggled for most of their lives, they may also experience depression, underachievement, social isolation, and/or other secondary effects.
• Sensory Processing Disorder is a complex disorder of the brain that affects developing children and adults.
• Parent surveys, clinical assessments, and laboratory protocols exist to identify children with SPD.
• At least one in twenty people in the general population may be affected by SPD.
• In children who are gifted and those with ADHD, Autism, and fragile X syndrome, the prevalence of SPD is much higher than in the general population.
• Studies have found a significant difference between the physiology of children with SPD and children who are typically developing.
• Studies have found a significant difference between the physiology of children with SPD and children with ADHD.
• Sensory Processing Disorder has unique sensory symptoms that are not explained by other known disorders.
• Heredity may be one cause of the disorder.
• Laboratory studies suggest that the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are not functioning typically in children with SPD.
• Preliminary research data support decades of anecdotal evidence that occupational therapy is an effective intervention for treating the symptoms of SPD.
– from Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD ) p. 249-250 by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR
Occupational therapists (OTs) usually understand one another when using the term "sensory integration dysfunction"
(sometimes abbreviated DSI)
Sensory Processing Disorder as a global umbrella term that includes all forms of this disorder, including three primary diagnostic groups (Sensory Modulation Disorder, Sensory Discrimination Disorder, and Sensory-Based Motor Disorder), and the subtypes found within each.
If so, the causes of SPD are coded into the child's genetic material. Prenatal and birth complications have also been implicated, and environmental factors may be involved.
Of course, as with any developmental and/or behavioral disorder, the causes of SPD are likely to be the result of factors that are both genetic and environmental. Only with more research will it be possible to identify the role of each.
Their brains are simply wired differently. They need to be taught in ways that are adapted to how they process information, and they need leisure activities that suit their own sensory processing needs.
Once children with Sensory Processing Disorder have been accurately diagnosed, they benefit from a treatment program of occupational therapy (OT) with a sensory integration (SI) approach.
When appropriate and applied by a well-trained clinician, listening therapy (such as Integrated Listening Systems) or other complementary therapies may be combined effectively with OT-SI.
Occupational therapy with a sensory integration approach typically takes place in a sensory-rich environment sometimes called the "OT gym."
During OT sessions, the therapist guides the child through fun activities that are subtly structured so the child is constantly challenged but always successful.
The goal of Occupational Therapy is to foster appropriate responses to sensation in an active, meaningful, and fun way so the child is able to behave in a more functional manner. Over time, the appropriate responses generalize to the environment beyond the clinic including home, school, and the larger community.
Effective occupational therapy thus enables children with SPD to take part in the normal activities of childhood, such as playing with friends, enjoying school, eating, dressing, and sleeping.
Ideally, occupational therapy for SPD is family-centered. Parents are involved and work with the therapist to learn more about their child's sensory challenges and methods for engaging in therapeutic activities (sometimes called a "sensory diet)" at home and elsewhere.
The child's therapist may provide ideas to teachers and others outside the family who interact regularly with the child. Families have the opportunity to communicate their own priorities for treatment.
Treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder helps parents and others who live and work with sensational children to understand that Sensory Processing Disorder is real, even though it is "hidden." With this assurance, they become better advocates for their child at school and within the community.
Parents are the adults in the best position to know when their child has a sensory problem but, too often, their observations are discounted because they are "just the parents."
If the family's health care provider isn't familiar with SPD, the clues that triggered the parents' alarm may be overlooked, misinterpreted, or dismissed.
– from Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR
If differences exist that are sufficient to warrant further assessment, evaluation will follow. An evaluation for SPD involves standardized testing, detailed clinical observations, and parent-report measures.
____ Over-sensitive to touch, noises, smells, other people
____ Difficulty making friends
____ Difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping, and/or toilet training
____ Clumsy; poor motor skills; weak
____ In constant motion; in everyone else's face and space
____ Frequent or long temper tantrums
___ Over-sensitive to touch, noise, smells, other people
___ Easily distracted, fidgety, craves movement; aggressive
___ Easily overwhelmed
___ Difficulty with handwriting or motor activities
___ Difficulty making friends
___ Unaware of pain and/or other people
Signs of Tactile Dysfunction:
Activity 1: Review the link below for their check list of Tactile Dysfunction.
Activity 2: On the same link review the checklist for the Signs of Vestibular Dysfunction
Activity 3: On the same link review the checklist for the Signs of Proprioceptive Dysfunction
Reflect on what you have learned about SPD.
Describe strategies you may use in your classroom for a child who has been diagnosed with SPD.
The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation