Taste, touch, smell, sound. These are all pretty run of the mill, everyday things we take for granted. When your child has senses that don’t work normally, it may be hard to comprehend. Sensory Processing, also known as sensory integration, is the way in which your nervous system takes in messages from the senses and converts them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. When sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses, this causes Sensory Processing Disorder.

What is it?

According to pioneering occupational therapist neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, Sensory Processing Disorder is like a neurological traffic jam that stops certain bits of the brain from getting the information it needs to interpret sensory information correctly. This means  that a person with SPD may find it difficult to process and carry out information recieved through the senses. Because of this, everyday tasks become challenges.

sensory processing disorder

Image source- Flickr user: hepingting

According to a 2004 study, at least 1 in 20 children are affected by Sensory Processing Disorder. Symptoms for Sensory Processing Disorder exist in a broad range of severity. Although pretty much everyone has some issues with processing sensory information, people with SPD have difficulties that disrupt their day to day life.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of sensory processing disorder include:

  • over sensitive to things in the environment
  • common sounds, such as flushing toilets or clanking silverware, are painful and overwhelming
  • light touch causes damage to skin
  • uncoordinated
  • always bumping into things
  • extremely high tolerance for pain
  • constant need to touch things
  • fearful of crowds or close proximity to others
  • fidgety and unable to sit still

Symptoms may vary from person to person. Sensory issues usually fall into two categories: hypo-sensitivity (under-responsiveness) and hyper-sensitivity (over-responsiveness). Oftentimes, sensory processing disorder is associated Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although some people with Autism Spectrum Disorder also have Sensory Processing Disorder, children don’t have to have Autism to have SPD.

Seven Stars can help

If your child is having difficulties with sensory processing disorder and you feel that they need additional help, Seven Stars can help. Seven Stars is unique in that combines residential treatment with wilderness therapy to help young people ages 13-17 with neurodevelopmental disorders such as SPD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and ADHD live happier, more successful lives.
For more information about Seven Stars, please call 844-601-1167.

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