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Sensory Processing Disorder – What is it? Part II

On January 15th, 2013

Last week I shared with you Part I about Sensory Processing Disorder.  Now let’s continue with Part II and learn why this disorder is misdiagnosed and what treatments are available. I agree that a safe and effective way to treat this disorder is with herbal remedies.   Herbs fight off disease; boost the immune system and work to increase a person’s overall sense of well-being.  A BodyTalk session with a certified BodyTalk Practitioner will also help in re-wiring the sensory processing of the brain.  Consider taking a BodyTalk Access class to enhance better brain communication to address this issue.  Find a class near you.  Register today!  Your health and your family’s health may depend on it.

By Megan Bushman

Misdiagnosis

doctor-and-patient-sensory-processingMisdiagnosis is common because many health care professionals are not trained to recognize sensory issues.  The Sensory Processing disorder foundation is dedicated to researching these issues, educating the public and professionals about their symptoms and treatment, and advocating for those who live with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and sensory challenges associated with other conditions.

It’s most commonly diagnosed in children, but people who reach adulthood without proper diagnosis or treatment also experience symptoms and continue to be affected by their inability to accurately and appropriately interpret sensory messages.

These “sensational adults” may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationship and recreation.  Because adults with SPD have struggled for most of their lives, they may also experience depression, underachievement, social isolation and/or other secondary effects.

What causes SPD?

The causes of SPD are among the subjects that researchers at Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and their collaborators elsewhere have been studying. Preliminary research suggest that SPD is often inherited.  If so, the causes of SPD are coded into the child’s genetic material.  Prenatal and birth complications have also been implicated, and environmental factors may be involved.  Of course, as with a developmental and/or behavioral disorder, the causes of SPD are likely to be the result of factors that are both genetic and environmental. Only with more research will it be possible to identify the role of research.

Who is at Risk of Developing SPD?

The people most at risk of developing SPD are those that are gifted, have ADHD or autism.  However, anyone can develop it.  It is most likely genetically linked, so the people most at risk are those with a family history.

What Treatments are Available?

Treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder helps partners and others who live and work with sensational children to understand that Sensory Processing Disorder is real, even though it is “hidden.”  With this assurance, they become better advocates for their child at school and within the community.

If left untreated, by the time people with SPD reach adulthood, they will struggle with depression, social isolation, feelings of underachievement, loneliness and other emotional issues.

Occupational Therapy:  Once children with Sensory Processing Disorder have been accurately diagnosed, they benefit from a treatment program of occupational therapy (OT) with a sensory integration (SI) approach.  When appropriate and applied by a well-trained clinician, listening therapy (such as Integrated Listening Systems) or other complementary therapies may be combined effectively with OT-SI.

Occupational therapy with a sensory integration approach typically takes place in a sensory-rich environment sometimes called the “OT gym.”  During OT sessions, the therapist guides the child through fun activities that are subtly structured so the child is constantly challenges but always successful.

Chiropractic:  Chiropractors focus on the functions of the brain and the nerves along the spine and work to align the spine in order to remove any misalignments that could cause never interference.  For a person with SPD this would work well with the rarely known-but extremely important-other two senses called the vestibular and proprioceptive systems.

The vestibular system is physiologically located in the cerebellum (base of brain), upper cervical spine (top of the neck) and inner ear.  The vestibular system is responsible for regulating all incoming sensory information and is considered the most important sensory system.  The proprioceptive system is located throughout the spine and joints of the body. Disruption of the system may lead to problems with learning, motor skills, behavior and social/emotional development.

Chiropractic care is an essential treatment.  Properly functioning vestibular and proprioceptive sensory systems are key components in developing and maintaining a healthy sensory processing system.  Because these two sensory systems are largely located in the spine, it is extremely important to remove any spinal misalignments with a chiropractic adjustment that may be causing nerve inference.

Herbal Remedies:  These work gradually to heal various parts of the body. They provide safe and effective treatment.  They are good for a person with SPD because they can provide aid to all the sensory problems and emotional issues associated with the disorder.

Recommendations are:

  • Skullcap-reduces self-stimulating behavior
  • Golden Root- helps with self-injurious behavior
  • Ginkgo – addresses issues relating to focus
  • Lavender and Lemon Balm – assists with relaxation
  • Melatonin – aids sleep

By taking herbs every day a person with SPD will soon be able to cope with the sensitivities that plague their everyday life. Generally speaking, herbs fight off disease; boost the immune system and work to increase a person’s overall sense of well-being.

HealthKeepers Magazine April 2012

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