Sensory processing & integration
What is Sensory Processing Dysfunction (SPD)?
Sensory processing is the way our brain receives, organizes and interprets the sensory input our senses pick up. The most formative developmental time is within the first seven years of life. Sensory Integration (SI) is a neurological developmental process which begins in the womb and continues throughout an individual's life. SI is the process in which the brain receives information from our senses and interprets this information so we can respond in an appropriate, effective and meaningful way. SPD provides the foundation for complex learning and behavior.
How do I know if my child has SPD?
Sensory processing is something that most of us don't even think about. It occurs naturally and spontaneously throughout our day. For example, gently handling a delicate object, pulling our hand away from a hot flame, or stepping down for a curb. When a child's central nervous system has difficulty processing information received and the neurological process of intake, organization or response becomes disrupted, learning, physical and emotional development and behavior may be impacted. This disruption is referred to as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID)/Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
Is SPD curable?
SPD can't be fully cured; however, with OT and related interventions, symptoms can be reduced and managed. Research shows that the nervous system and neural pathways are constantly changing and can be reprogrammed. This, coupled with learned behavior and effective strategies, help children lead normal and productive lives.
Do all children on the Autism spectrum have SI difficulties?
The common consensus is that up to 95% of children on the Autism spectrum have SI difficulties. Children on the spectrum perceive their environment differently, which can interfere with their ability to attend, learn and interact within the environment, handle unpredictable situations and develop appropriate peer relationships.