Sensory processing disorder is one of the most overlooked behavioral problems I have noticed in schools. Oftentimes a child is exhibiting awkward or inappropriate (physical) behaviors because they are not comfortable and grounded internally. In other words, some part of their Central Nervous System is substandard and they need more input from their environment.
What is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Sensory processing disorder is a condition where the brain has difficulty receiving and reacting to sensory information. Sensory processing disorder has a wide range of symptoms, much like many other diseases.
The sound of a leaf blower outside the window, for example, can cause some children to vomit or dive under the table. When they are touched, they will scream. Certain foods' textures can cause them to recoil. Others, on the other hand, tend to be unresponsive to their surroundings. They may be unable to react to extremes in temperature, such as heat or cold, or even pain.
What are the Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder?
The inability to locate where their limbs are
Difficulty processing senses
What are the Treatment Options for Sensory Processing Disorder?
Occupational therapists often see and treat children with sensory processing issues, despite the lack of generally recognized diagnostic criteria. Care is personalized to the unique needs of each child. But, in general, it includes assisting children in enhancing their success in activities in which they are usually vulnerable, as well as assisting them in becoming accustomed to items that they are unable to tolerate.
Sensory integration/play/games and activities are treatment options for sensory processing disorders. Sensory integration helps to assess a child in a fun, playful way so that they can learn to respond appropriately and act more normally.
Disorders on their own are not so worrisome, but especially when compounded with multiple common disorders their is cause for concern. Disorders can lead to a child lacking esteem and becoming reclusive from their peers, family, and teachers because they are so misunderstood and undervalued in their daily lives.
I recommend seeking professional help for your child if they are exhibiting any symptoms that lead you to believe they may have a disorder. The sooner, the better.
Remember you're not alone. I work with families, caregivers, therapists and children with disorders like these everyday. My goal is to bridge the gap between your child and all their caretakers to transform negative repeated behaviors into socially appropriate practice.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more help. I look forward to hearing your story and helping transform you and your child's lives!