Tuesday, 26th October 2021

Specific Learning Difficulties - Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), although recognised by parents and professionals, has not yet been categorized as a diagnostic term.

This does not however make sensory processing difficulties less real. There are young people and adults out there to testify how real it is and the impact it has on their life.

What is it?

In order to understand what sensory dys-function is we need to examine normal sensory processing.

Our Nervous system takes in information from our external senses (sight hearing taste touch smell) and internal senses of proprioception and vestibular. The brain processes the information to allow our body to make sense of the environment/world around us and behave appropriately in response to what is going on.

Adequate sensory processing is required to grow learn and develop. It allows us to ct or espond to the situation we are experiencing appropriately. It allows us to sift through the immense amount of sensory information that bombards every minute and selects what needs to be focussed on.

e.g. listening to the teacher and ignoring the noise in and out of the classroom or understanding that if someone brushes past you that the person means no harm.

What does it feel like?

The most common symptoms are;

  • Oversensitive to sensory stimuli: noise,light/visual stimulation,food smells/textures
  • Undersensitive to sensory stimuli: Sensory seeking- fidgeting, wriggling, chewing pencils, swinging on chairs (undersensitive)
  • Modulation difficulties- difficulty calming down when becomes excitable or difficulty getting self, excitable enough to carry out activities

What can you do?

It is useful to be referred to an Occupational Therapist, if there is one in your area that provides intervention for these difficulties. They will assess the sensory processing difficulties to see what impact they are having on your child’s day to day function. They may provide one of the following

  • Sensory equipment (e.g. sitfit cushion, weighted items, deep pressure garments)
  • Sensory diet : help to adapt your child’s day to provide appropriate sensory stimulation to prevent sensory symtoms on a daily basis

Motorvatetherapies provides a comprehensive sensory service.

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Motorvate Therapies Ltd - registered in Scotland SC443744

Unit 3, Tayview Industrial estate
Perth PH28DG

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