Do You Think You Have A Child With Sensory Processing Disorder?
What Is SPD
Have you ever had a hand or a foot “fall asleep?” Your whole focus is on the sensation of your foot being asleep and how to make this feeling go away. Right? Think of SPD as an attempt to reconnect your body to its feelings. This is where an Occupational Therapist comes in.
Who Diagnoses SPD?
- Pediatrician (usually screens first)
- Occupational Therapist
Over-sensitivity to stimulus:
- Itchy clothes
- Poor Balance
- Dislike Playgrounds
SPD in Children
Under sensitivity to stimulus
- Bumping, jumping or crashing into things
- Decreased sleep
- engages with electronic games
- Increased tolerance for pain
Adults with spd often have had a lifetime of misunderstanding. They often are upset by:
- loud music
- strong scents
- close contact with people
- experience clumsiness
- difficulty focusing
- hard time reading
- trouble sequencing
The first place to go for concerns about spd is your child’s pediatrician. They will give you a checklist where you will choose the symptoms your child displays along with a severity rating.
You and the pediatrician will go through the list and check for physical reasons that might be causing the issues. If physical reasons are ruled out, you will be referred to an Occupational Therapist (OT) who will do an in depth assessment and create a treatment plan for your child.
The OT will explain what type of treatment your child will need and how long the treatment will last.
The therapist will help your child connect with his body so he is not constantly spending his time seeking connection.
Treatment will focus on integrating the child’s senses including body awareness and movement.
Kids will often become calmer and more focused with treatment.
The Star Institute has an Occupational Therapist finder which you can access here