AOPT Health Blog
What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

There are eight different senses that our bodies take in from the surrounding environment: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, vestibular (sense of head movement in space), proprioception (sensation from muscles and joints), and interoception (sensations from internal organs). In sensory processing disorder these processes are disturbed.

There are three types of sensory modulation disorder:

  • Sensory Over-Responsive: This is a predisposition to have an exaggerated response to sensory stimuli that most people would not be bothered by.
  • Sensory Under-Responsive: This is a predisposition to be unaware of sensory stimuli or to have a decreased response compared to the average person.
  • Sensory Craving: This presents as a drive to seek sensory stimulation but being unable to organize the input in a way that stisfies the drive, thus pushing them to seek more.

What might it look like in my child?

A child with sensory integration concerns may present in a variety of ways:

  • Extreme responses to noises that do not bother other children
  • Easily distracted
  • Fearful of climbing or falling, even when there is no danger of this occuring
  • A constant need to tough people and textures
  • Clumsy or uncoordinated beahavior
  • Avoidant of particular food textures and tastes

How Can You Help a Child with SPD?

Occupational therapists are specially trained to help children with these types of disorders.

An occupation therapist may work with you and/or your child to develop a sensory diet. A sensory diet is a schedule of selected activities designed to help a person keep their system at an appropriate level of arousal.

Your child’s Occupational Therapist will also construct a “sensory integration approach” with which they will structure play-based sessions in a sensory rich environment. These activities are fun for the child but are structured to challenge their systems.

Have concerns? We can help!

Here at Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy our Kids Suite is specially designed to treat children with all types of disorders and conditions. If you have any concerns about your child’s health we would love to offer you and your child a free screen!

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