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I am committed to educating individuals about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). I strive to inform and promote items that are sensory-friendly. Sensory issues manifest in many forms and affect all people differently. For this reason, it is especially important to emphasize the spectrum of experiences one with sensory issues may face on a daily basis.


What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. This may affect one sense, like hearing, touch, or taste. Or it may affect multiple sensory systems. Our eight sensory systems consist of sight (visual), taste (gustatory), touch (tactile), smell (olfactory), hearing (auditory), vestibular (balance), proprioceptive (movement), and interoceptive (internal). People with this complex disorder can be over- or under-responsive to the things they have difficulties with.

Oversensitivity, tantrums, clumsiness: all could point to problems taking in the world.

Kids with sensory processing issues behave in ways that their parents often find confusing. They might react strongly to loud noises or bright lights or complain that their clothes are uncomfortable. They may be clumsy or have trouble with fine motor skills like fastening buttons. Some kids show extreme behaviors like screaming when their face gets wet. 

These behaviors happen because the child is having trouble processing the information they receive from their senses. In addition to the traditional five senses, there are also two internal senses that give us information about movement and where our body is in space. Hyposensitive kids need more sensory stimulation. They often love to move around and crash into things. Hypersensitive kids avoid strong sensory stimulation and get overwhelmed easily.

Many parents of children with sensory issues call their behaviors sensory processing disorder, or SPD. But SPD is not currently a recognized psychiatric disorder. Sensory issues are considered a symptom of autism because many people on the autism spectrum experience them. But not everyone with sensory issues is on the spectrum. Some have ADHDOCD or developmental delays. Or they may not have a diagnosis at all.

If you think your child’s behavior might be caused by a sensory issue, there is a detailed sensory checklist that you can use to learn more, as it covers responses to all different types of input. A lot of these responses are often misunderstood. Identifying the cause can bring relief to both child and parent.



Writer: Beth Arky

Researchers have found that children affected with SPD have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other neurodevelopmental disorders.

As mentioned in a study by University of California San Francisco (Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids)

Writer: Juliana Bunim 

Drawing & Coloring
Boy Playing with Blocks

Sensory processing disorder and autism commonly overlap, as individuals with autism regularly struggle to process sensory information. In fact, over 90% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also have sensory issues. Hypersensitivity to loud noise, touch, and light are common sensory issues.


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.



Writer: Ronda Nurbo 

Sensory Processing Disorder: SPD Explained and Simplified

by AndyGattis


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