Sensory processing disorder
Sensory processing is the ability to take in sensory information through our senses, organize and interpret it, and make a meaningful response (behaviour). We have 8 senses to help us gather information about the environment
- Gustatory or taste
- Auditory or hearing
- Olfactory or smell
- Tactile or touch
- Vestibular or Balance
- Proprioceptive or Body Awareness
- Interoception (Sensitivity
to stimuli originating inside of the body, ex grumbling belly)
Sensory processing disorder:
- is a complex disorder of the brain where sensory signals of any of the 8 senses are not automatically felt, not well regulated, not interpreted correctly
- affects how an individual interprets and acts on sensory information
- can be mild to severe
- affects children and adults
- must affect daily routines and activities to be considered a disorder.
do not like being touched
sensitive to sounds, lights
feel lethargic and slow
begin new tasks simultaneously and leave many of them uncompleted
difficulty learning new motor tasks, or sequencing steps of a task
difficulty staying focused at school, work and in meetings
difficulty reading, read material several times
speech lacks fluency, I stumble over words
Most people with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Autism, trauma, brain injury/concussion or mental illness suffer from sensory processing disorder and feel like the picture… chaos!
They are unable to either take in the information properly or there systems don’t know what to do with the information once it has been received. The channels are mixed up. A light touch on their shoulder could feel like a punch and then they will respond aggressively
Sensory difficulties become misunderstood by those around them as being defiant. It is very possible that behavioural problems are actually sensory based and it is important to provide them with sensory integration strategies. It is common for people to believe that the behaviour is intentional when in fact if it is due to a sensory processing disorder and their behaviours are in fact a way to protect themself from harm. These children/adults require sensory integration therapy offered by an occupational therapist.
For more information on sensory processing disorders check online at http://www.spdfoundation.net
"I have been talking and writing about sensory problems for over 20 years, and am still perplexed by many people who do not acknowledge sensory issues and the pain and discomfort they can cause. A person doesn't have to be on the autism spectrum to be affected by sensory issues."
-Dr Temple Grandin, The Way I See It