Our Quick Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can help you identify behavior patterns and find helpful tools for the daily challenges. Sensory Processing Disorder is a term we hear often. Though we all struggle with sensory overload at times, Sensory Processing Disorder has specific symptoms and treatments.
Quick Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder
1. Sensory Modulation Disorder
is one of the most familiar forms of sensory need. This is when an individual under responds, over responds or seeks out sensory stimulation. These responses are triggered when the nervous system can't easily interpret input from sights, sounds, textures, and smells.
Sensory Challenges with Movement
2. Sensory-Based Motor Disorder
reflects how the body adapts to sensory input. Small movements are challenging, like riding an escalator or getting in a car. The frustration can trigger tantrums or sedentary behavior. To help, we use balance beams, balance boards
, rockers and mobility tools
. The goal is to strengthen the vestibular system and postural responses.
Sensory Challenges with Perception
3. Sensory Perception/Discrimination Disorder
relates to detecting differences in location, intensity, timing or objects. For example, if I put a quarter and a nickel in your hand, can you tell them apart by feeling? Someone with this challenge may hold on too tight or not tight enough, not knowing the right touch to apply. To help, we look closely at how the person perceives vision, sound, touch, movement and taste. In addition, we work with putty
, rolling pins
, and sand
. Heavy and light handwork help as well.
Tools for Each Type of Sensory Processing Need
Therapy tools and techniques can help regulate the response to sensory input For example, someone who is under responsive can appear "lost in space" or low energy or not respond when called by name. To help, we use movement tools
and heightened sensory tools
to encourage organization.
For a sensory seeker who can't sit still, touches others or bites, we try to calm and engage their system. Sensory motor tools such as heavy handwork, wiggle cushions
and eye-hand tools
are helpful. Finally, an over-responsive individual with heightened sensory responses, stress or anxiety, can find weight
to be calming.
Now that You Have a Quick Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder...
It's fair to say most occupational therapists are well versed in sensory processing disorder. Your OT can help you focus on what helps. You can also contact our expert team as well as refer to this Quick Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder. When you keep your eyes and ears open, you gain a better understanding of yourself and your children.