Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Data from all the five senses of human body are taken by the brain, filtered, organized and finally interpreted in an organized manner for its use. It is the duty of the human brain to collect the information from various sense organs and process these inputs in a proper way so as to get into its proper use in the body.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory Processing Of The Information Involves

  • Collection of information by brain
  • Filtering the information by eliminating unwanted sensory input
  • Organize the information and
  • Interpret the information

Such high level of configuration is observed in normal individuals. Some patient may suffer with brain disorder where the victim meets with certain kind of difficulty while processing the inputs coming from different sense organs. Brain disorder may result in improper sensory integration of information. Obnoxious sensory stimuli in such cases result in improper sensory integration and interpretation. The condition is known as Sensory Processing Disorder. Though such a kind of disorder can affect all the age groups, mostly this is seen in children. The present article will focus on the various causes, signs & symptoms, and the treatments available for Sensory processing disorder or SPD.

An Overview on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD):

Traffic Jam-

  • “Something which ruins your most important work of the day is a traffic jam on the public road.” SPD or Sensory processing disorder is a kind of traffic jam occurring in the brain, which restricts the proper integration between various sensory organs.
  • Like the road jam, in SPD, there is the traffic jam occurring at the brain which make it difficult to have a proper integration between the senses and that results in the abnormal neurological conditional in human.

Hysterical Fits-

  • Apart from the usual symptoms of irregular or abnormal stimuli response; there are some other symptoms, which can be seen in the suffering children; which includes mostly a type of sudden hysterical fits.

The following array will include some of the major symptoms, causes and treatments for Sensory processing disorder.

Common Causes of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD):

“If you want to avoid or come out of the road traffic jam; you need to find the reasons behind the block.” Same is the case in brain traffic jam. There is a belief, “Any treatment begins with the note from finding the causes of the disorder. So here below are some of the most common causes of Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD.

  • An increased D2 receptor in striatum may lead to an aversion to tactile stimuli or even reduced habituation. This is seen in people with sensory over responsibility or those who feel over stimuli responses.
  • A kind of abnormal white matter microstructure seen in children with Sensory processor disorder is found to be one cause that is found in recent studies.

Noted Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD):

“Patient cannot choose a perfect treatment among several treatment suggested by physician. Perfect treatment is selected following a definitive diagnosis from all the symptoms.” So, the list of signs and symptoms of SPD are extremely important for diagnosis.

Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder

Here Are The List Of Sensory Processing Disorder Signs And Symptoms:

  1. Symptoms Related To Disproportionate Sensory Response:

    These are the symptoms that are seen in the children with Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD that occurs due to improper or out of proportion sensory response to light, sound, touch, movements, smell and tastes. Following Are The Sensory Processing Disorder Symptoms Or SPD Symptoms:

    • Excessively sensitive to sounds, including the volume and frequency.
    • Extremely high level of activity or very much sedentary.
    • Usually high & low pain threshold.
    • The patients are mostly worried by lights.
    • Blinking of eyes, or rubbing eyes very frequently.
    • Very much distressed by light or sudden touch.
    • Worried by varied clothing fabrics.
  2. Symptoms Related To Problems In Motor Skills And Body Awareness:

    There are certain symptoms that are related to difficulties in motor skills or the body awareness. Following are the list of such symptoms.

    • Oral motor and feeding problem in Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD includes frequent gagging, picky eating, speech and language delays, oral hypersensitivity etc.
    • Children are found having delay in fine motor activities, like cutting papers with scissor, drawing or crayons, etc.
    • Such children also do show symptoms of delay in gross motor activities like walking, running or climbing stairs.
    • Awkward movements are most common symptoms.
    • High and low muscle tone is seen in children suffering from Sensory processing unit.
  3. There are some other symptoms most commonly seen in Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD, which include poor concentration level, difficulty gaining self confidence and problems in being in independent life.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD):

“One cannot come to a decision if a student is passed or failed in his final examinations; unless he has taken the test.” Similarly, you cannot make out if your child is suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD until child is seen by a physician. Physician following examination and lab study provides the most appropriate diagnosis of sensory processing disorder. Child may be referred to specialist following diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD. Child may be referred to specialist for second opinion if symptoms are unusual. So, once you are confirmed about the presence of this neurological disorder in your child, you obviously need to look for the appropriate treatment. Now coming to the treatment; there is a popular treatment program available for Sensory processing disorder. The treatment is known as OT-integrated with SI therapy. The treatment suggest the Occupational therapy (OT) combined with the Sensory integration (SI).

Let us study in brief about the treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD using OT-integrated with SI therapy below:

Occupational Therapy- Sensory Integration: This is a professional treatment procedure that is usually taken in an OT gym or a sensory rich environment; where the affected child is guided by the expert through the subtly structured fun activities, where he is thoroughly challenged but made in a way that he gets always successful. This kind of treatment intends in enhancing the sensory responses in a fun and active way. Listening therapy or some other complementary therapies can be included in the treatment procedure along with the OT-SI program so as to get the best result in coming out of fighting well with the sensory processing disorder.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: August 4, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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