Sensory Processing Disorder

Boy with bookSensory Processing Disorder, or SPD, is the inability to properly interpret incoming sensory information. According to the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, it’s a very common disorder. At least 1 in 20 children are affected by it; and yet, it is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed.

If your child has SPD, involve yourself in the treatment plan and focus on the improvements made, no matter how small.

Those suffering from SPD can be over- or under-sensitive to sensory information. They may have problems with just one sense, or problems with multiple senses. For example, while one person might be over-sensitive to touch, another could be over-sensitive to sights and sounds. Some of the more serious problems associated with SPD include failure in school, behavioral problems, extreme clumsiness, and even anxiety or depression. It is thought to be caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. The exact cause remains unknown, but it is not an imaginary disorder.

There are some physiological differences between children who are developing normally and children who are suffering from SPD. If you’re not sure whether or not your child suffers from SPD, here are some red flags taken from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation website:

Infants and Toddlers:

  • trouble eating, or sleeping
  • pulls away during cuddling
  • refuses to go to anyone except Mom or Dad
  • uncomfortable in clothes
  • disinterested in toys

Preschoolers:

  • trouble making friends
  • clumsiness, weakness, or poor motor skills
  • constantly moving, and oblivious to personal space
  • frequent, or very long temper tantrums
  • trouble dressing, eating, sleeping, or toilet training
  • over-sensitive to people, noises, touch, or smells

Grade Schoolers:

  • distractible, always moving, fidgety, or aggressive
  • over-sensitive to people, noises, touch, or smells
  • trouble with motor activity or writing
  • trouble making friends
  • unaware of pain

Adolescents and Adults:

  • lethargic
  • impulsive, distractible
  • inability to finish tasks
  • poor self-esteem
  • over-sensitive to people, noises, touch, or smells
  • trouble focusing

What do you think?

Sensory Processing Disorder

Tell us what you think!

6 comments

  1. erika says:

    do your own research. And get several opinions. My friends son was misdiagnosed by a professional….

  2. Judy says:

    My daughter was just diagnosed with a slight case of ADD but after reading this article I think it is more along the lines of SPD because she has almost all of these symptoms. What do I do know?? The Psychologist sent 3 hours testing her for ADHD and ADD but nothing was mentioned about SPD. I would appreciate any comments or help with this at all. Thanks, Worried Mom

    • Megan Klay says:

      Hi Judy, It never hurts to get a second opinion or to bring this information up with your daughter’s current Psychologist, if you’d like to go that route. You’re with your daughter more frequently and are closer to her behaviors. Misdiagnosis unfortunately happens and you’re only doing your due diligence to research and ask the right questions to be sure your daughter gets the help she needs. I’d recommend you bring this article with you and take some notes about the behavior your daughter exhibits which align with what the article states. It can’t hurt anything, and it will likely make you feel better! Best wishes!

  3. mommy nhoj says:

    A good read article. Hope we won’t encounter such issue in the future.

  4. LIZ says:

    very important information to kno about it, tnx so much

  5. vanessa says:

    going to have to look into getting my two year old tested he will go to other people but not for long but also cant focus for long hes really starting to worry me doesnt play well with his little brother at all and toys dont keep his attention

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