Sensory processing disorder or SPD is a common condition that affects nearly one in six children. SPD interferes with the way the brain processes sensory information, such as tastes, smells, textures, sounds, and sights. Dealing with SPD can be difficult for children, as they are constantly being exposed to new types of stimuli. Typically speaking, SPD means that you are overly sensitive to certain stimuli, but some SPD patients suffer from under-sensitivity instead. Though most patients have difficulty processing just one type of stimulus, it is possible to suffer SPD of more than just one of the senses. Sensory processing is an important part of learning and interacting with our environment and failing to process things correctly can impact other areas of life. Here are five different signs to look out for if you think someone you know may be suffering from a sensory processing disorder.
Texture sensitivity is a common sign of SPD. If your child gags due to certain food textures or finds clothing to be too scratchy, then they might have trouble processing touch. This hypersensitivity can make it hard to connect with others, go out, or even try new things.
Just like texture, if your child seems overly responsive to an auditory stimulus, then SPD might be to blame. Loud noises or simply too much noise can make it hard for people with SPD to stay calm or focus.
Poor Motor Skills
Hypersensitivity can prevent children from engaging in activities. When an object is overstimulating, it can be intimidating to interact with. Growing up with such acute senses can prevent children from developing the fine motor skills they might have otherwise due to their aversion.
In the same way that SPD can lead to poor motor skills, it can also manifest a hesitant nature. The hypersensitivity that stems from SPD can make trying new things seem more dangerous than they really are, or just make the experience flat-out unpleasant.
Sensory Seeking SPD
As I mentioned above, SPD is a two-sided coin. While most SPD patients suffer from hypersensitivity, some suffer the opposite, hyposensitivity. These patients typically seek thrills, enjoy visual stimulation, chew on things, and have trouble sleeping. This type of SPD usually results in thrill-seeking individuals.
Can Occupational Therapy Help With SPD?
If you or someone you know is suffering from SPD, occupational therapy can help. Here at Theradynamics, we offer the latest in medical technology so that our patients can get the care they need. The interactive metronome is an advanced occupational therapy tool we offer that provides a wide variety of programs to help you develop your motor skills. SPD is related to the body and brain’s ability to synchronize and appropriately respond to stimuli. The interactive metronome has a treatment tailored to help fix this inefficient neuro-timing, and fight SPD. If you want to know more, or would like to schedule an appointment, please visit Theradynamics for occupational therapy in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, or New Jersey.