Sensory processing disorder is a neurological disorder causing difficulties with processing information from the five senses, vision, auditory, touch, olfaction and taste, in addition to the sense of movement and positional sense (APA, 2013). For those children with SPD, sensory information is perceived but is understood abnormally (Kutscher). This condition can be linked to autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and speech delays among others. Sensory Processing Dysfunction is being used as an umbrella term that includes three distinctions of sensory difficulties; sensory modulation disorder, sensory discrimination disorder and sensory-based motor disorder.
Each child will have differing symptoms depending upon the type of dysfunction. One child may be hypersensitive to touch and movement, while another child may be hyposensitive to these same actions. The child may not be aware of touch, or fail to realize their touch is too aggressive and painful to others.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
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