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Sensory Processing Disorder

For individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), the world can present a complex jumble of stimuli. This neurological condition affects how people process sensory information, ranging from vision and sound to texture and smell. While it often results in heightened responses - meaning louder noises or brighter lights cause distress - SPD can contribute to defensiveness against everyday inputs too, requiring increased stimulation for those affected by it.

 

While SPD is traditionally associated with children, its effects can extend to adulthood. For many adults who suffer from it, their sensitivities have been present since childhood and learned avoidance strategies may be used for dealing them in order to conceal the disorder from others.

 

Healthcare professionals have conflicting opinions on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Some believe it's a manifestation of existing conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety. Others assert that SPD is its own distinct entity independent from any other diagnosis - either due to heightened sensitivity or inability to handle sensory stimuli optimally. For the time being, however, no medical consensus has been reached and SPD does not hold an official diagnostic label in the medical community.

 

Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder

Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) may struggle to deal with sensory input, whether it's in the form of sound or clothing textures. In some cases, this can lead them to seek out more intense forms of stimulation such as thrill-seeking activities like jumping from high places and swinging too hard on playground equipment. It is also possible for children affected by SPD to be both oversensitive and undersensitive when dealing with senses simultaneously - a unique challenge that must be addressed professionally.

 

Children may be oversensitive if they:

  • Think clothing feels too scratchy or itchy.

  • Think lights seem too bright.

  • Think sounds seem too loud.

  • Think soft touches feel too hard.

  • Experience food textures make them gag.

  • Have poor balance or seem clumsy.

  • Are afraid to play on the swings.

  • React poorly to sudden movements, touches, loud noises, or bright lights.

  • Have behavior problems.

Many children may demonstrate signs of sensitivity, ranging from discomfort with rough textures to a fear of loud noises and swinging. This can lead to balance issues or even behavioral problems. Parents should pay careful attention for any indications that their child is struggling in such ways so they can act quickly and provide the necessary support.

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