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Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing disorder is a complex medical condition that ranges from mild to severe. It is hard to define but the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation has defined it as a condition existing when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. This can cause a child to have heightened sensitive to light, sound and other senses, or to be under-sensitive where they might not be aware of their surroundings or cause self-harm by accident. Children with sensory processing disorder aren’t able to process sensory information normally which can affect simple, everyday tasks. The following will offer you advice and guidance on this complex sensory disorder.

Sensitivity versus Sensory Processing Disorder

SPD is often difficult to diagnose because parents and doctors think the child is simply over sensitive based on their symptoms. They might think they are simply very sensitive to smells, words, environments, lights, and sounds because they have a heightened awareness which causes the sensitivity. It can cause many years for the child to actually be diagnosed with sensory processing disorder as opposed to just being overly sensitive.

Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder

This order shows a variety of symptoms relating to senses like touch, taste, and hearing. It can affect one sense or multiple senses, varying based on the child. There is a large spectrum for children who have SPD, such as one child only being sensitive to sound, while another seems to have extreme difficulty with all of their senses. Many children diagnosed with SPD start by being fussy babies who continue getting more anxious and sensitive to their senses. They might also throw tantrums or have extreme meltdowns.

Causes of Sensory Processing Disorder

There isn’t currently a single cause of SPD or a reason why some children get it and others don’t. Some studies have been conducted that show children with a certain genetic component are at a higher risk of developing SPD while others might have slightly abnormal brain activity during the time they are exposed to certain lights and sounds.

Treating Sensory Processing Disorder

It can often be difficult to get the right kind of help for children diagnosed with SPD. It is a difficult and complex disorder that is hard to identify. A child with SPD needs a lot of family support and professional guidance to help them cope with the disorder. Treatment includes occupational therapy, and other types of therapies to help them understand thinking, relating, and communicating.
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