Sensory Processing Disorder: What You Need to Know
The very process of child development is founded in our senses. We all grow, develop and learn through the input of our senses. It is understandable, then, that sensory processing is the way our brains convert the information conveyed to our bodies through taste, smell, touch, sight and especially hearing into information upon which we can act. That action often involves cataloguing sensory information for later retrieval.
What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
All the senses work independently to give us different pieces of the puzzle, but they all work in tandem to create the thoughts and ideas that equate to experience and learning. When one part of that system breaks down, it can have a huge impact on what we learn and how we learn it.
As you read this article, you are unconsciously filtering out much of the external stimuli that would otherwise distract your attention away from it. You aren’t dwelling on background noises or the effort it takes to balance in your chair. You aren’t actively thinking about the feel of the fabric of your clothes against your skin.
People with SPD have difficulty favouring the more important stimuli and ignoring the rest, and many studies have shown that this inability to balance sensory input begins with the inability to properly process auditory input. In short, some people never learn how to passively listen and that affects their ability to passively deal with other stimuli as well.
SPD in Children
There are ways to spot SPD in your child. Take a look at this checklist. How many of these red flags apply to your child?
• Irritated by clothing (labels, tags, the type of fabric)
• Easily distressed when touched unexpectedly (or being touched at all)
• A dislike for getting messy or dirty
• Resistant to grooming
• Inordinate sensitivity to sound
• Frequent squinting, blinking, or rubbing of the eyes
• Becomes bothered by changing light patterns (like strobe lights or video games)
• Hyperactivity or lack of movement
• Unusually low or high pain thresholds
• Fine or gross motor delays
• Poor handwriting
• Awkward movements or clumsiness
• Poorly or over-developed muscle tone
• Oral motor or feeding issues (drooling, gagging, picky eating)
• Delays in speech and language development
If you have noticed three or more of these symptoms in your child, he or she might have SPD. A qualified physician can give you a precise diagnosis.
While where are no clinical treatments for SPD, I believe that through the implementation of TOMATIS® Sound Therapy I can help your child overcome many, if not all of these symptoms.
TOMATIS® addresses these issues at the auditory processing level where these types of symptoms begin. By teaching the brain how to properly process sound, the brain also learns how to process other stimuli and provide relief for symptoms of SPD.
I have helped many children throughout Australia with SPD diagnoses or with symptoms of SPD manage the symptoms and improve their quality of life. Contact me today to find out how I can help your child learn how to manage his or her SPD symptoms.