Sensory Processing Disorder

What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

Sensory Processing is a term referring to the way the nervous system receives and processes messages into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Any activity you complete requires many different sensations. Sensory Processing Disorder occurs when a person cannot organize his or her sensory signals into an appropriate response. This is often compared to a "traffic jam" preventing parts of the brain from receiving necessary information to appropriately interpret sensory input. An individual with sensory processing disorder often finds it difficult to process and act upon sensory information resulting in severe challenges with everyday tasks.

What is the effect of Sensory Processing Disorder?

A person with sensory process disorder may experience poor posture and/or motor skills. This results in low self-esteem, social/emotional issues, and/or struggles academically. Often, individuals with sensory processing disorder may be viewed as clumsy, uncooperative, disruptive, or "out of control."

How can I help my child with Sensory Processing Disorder?

The best way to assist your child if they have been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder is to regularly attend occupational therapy sessions and collaborate with the therapist. The goal of occupational therapy for these children is to assist them in fostering an appropriate response to sensation. Over time, these responses carryover from the clinic to other environments including home and school. Your child's occupational therapist will be able to provide suggestions, tips, and possible equipment (such as a weighted vest or gloves) to best help your child.