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Simplifying Sensory Processing Disorder

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?


SPD is a condition where the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. This means that people with SPD may be overly sensitive to certain sensations or not sensitive enough.


Overly Sensitive (Hypersensitivity)

- Clothes might feel too scratchy or tight.

- Normal sounds might seem too loud or overwhelming.

- Bright lights could be painful or very uncomfortable.


Under Sensitive (Hyposensitivity):

- They might not notice when their hands are dirty.

- They could seek out intense sensations, like jumping off high places or spinning around a lot.

- They might not feel pain as strongly as others.


SPD can affect any of the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, balance, and body awareness.


It's estimated that 5-16% of children in the general population have significant sensory processing issues.


In children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the prevalence is much higher, with around 75-90% experiencing sensory processing difficulties.


It’s like the brain's filter for sensory information isn't working quite right, making it hard to respond appropriately to different sensations.


Early intervention and therapy can significantly help children with SPD. Occupational therapy, particularly sensory integration therapy, is the most common and effective treatment.

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