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Sensory Processing Disorder?

Posted By: Carrie Salyer on Jul 31, 2009   Category: Articles, Resources  

I have never heard of sensory processing disorder. Why has no one ever mentioned this before?

Many people simply do not know about Sensory Processing Disorder. Sensory processing is the ability of the nervous system to perceive sensory information (touch, sound, vision, movement, etc.), process it, and produce a response based on how the information is interpreted. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can be a diagnosis of its own, or it may be seen in conjunction with other diagnoses, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc.). Because the signs of SPD may be similar to those seen in other diagnoses, it is often overlooked.

Sensory Processing Disorder (initially termed Sensory Integration Dysfunction) is a term that has been known to the field of occupational therapy since the 1960’s when A. Jean Ayres developed the theory of sensory integration. Ms. Ayres was an occupational therapist and an educational psychologist whose career was focused on studying sensory integration and the brain. The theory of sensory integration has been used by occupational therapists and other professionals for over 40 years to help children and adults perform at their fullest potential. Unfortunately, despite the many years of knowledge and the successful treatment of countless individuals, many people are still unaware of this disorder, including some physicians and educators. However, it is becoming more prevalent and people are beginning to take notice.

It is part of our mission at Leaps and Bounds to help educate our community about SPD and what resources are available. If you have a concern about your child, and suspect a Sensory Processing Disorder, please view our signs and symptoms checklist.

It is important for you to know that while early intervention is always ideal, Sensory Processing Disorder can be treated at any age. It is NEVER too late to begin addressing your concerns. For more information on sensory processing, please click here.

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