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Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory p​rocessing disorder is when the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information. Individuals with this condition are oversensitive to things around them. In children it can manifest as a reaction to noise or light, or clothing that a child believes are irritating or too tight.

Some children may have more extreme reactions such as an extremely high or low pain tolerance, screaming if their face gets wet and running into walls or people.

Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder

Symptoms of sensory processing disorder may be seen in one sense, such as taste or touch, or it could affect multiple. The symptoms vary for each child and can include any of the following:

  • Over or under responsiveness to sounds, touch and sight.
  • Unable to tolerate certain clothing and textures.
  • Unable to tolerate certain or loud noises.
  • Has difficulty with change.
  • Has difficulty with fine motor skills.
  • Bumps into things or people they should see.

Causes and Risk Factors

Currently, no exact cause is known for sensory processing disorder. However, there have been studies that suggest is may be due to genetics or abnormal brain activity.

Treatement of Sensory Processing Disorder

Treatment of sensory processing disorder significantly depends on a child’s needs. However, the goal of the treatment is to help the child learn and become accustomed to the items they cannot tolerate.

The treatment most often used, consists of multiple sess​ion with the child and parent(s). These sessions are used to help the parent(s) understand their child and for the child to understand the world of their parent(s).

A diet, called a sensory diet, may also be used. This diet is specially tailored to the child’s symptoms.

If you suspect your child of having symptoms related to sensory processing disorder, take him/her to a doctor. While not all the symptoms listed are related to sensory processing disorder symptoms, it is best to err on the side of caution.

Child Development Pediatric Neurology