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On January 15th, 2013 by Lynn Morales

Sensory Processing Disorder – What is it? Part II

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Articles | Blog

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


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

On January 9th, 2013 by Lynn Morales

Sensory Processing Disorder – What is it?

Posted In:
Articles | Blog

Recently, I read an article by Megan Bushman on Sensory Processing Disorder.  This is what she said and I agree that if this disorder is not identified and treated effectively, a person may experience behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, and school failure.  A BodyTalk session with a certified BodyTalk Practitioner will be extremely helpful 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

sensory-disorderThe way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses is called Sensory Processing, or sometimes called Sensory Integration.  Whether biting into a sandwich, riding a bike, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or “sensory integration.”

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), is a neurological disorder that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses.  It is the brain’s inability to integrate everyday sensory information it receives from the five senses:  touch, sight, sound, smell and taste.  Put another way by pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PHD, she likens it to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.

Children learn through their senses.  A child who seems to have difficulty processing sensory information may not be developmentally on track in terms of social skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills and language.  A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks.  Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure and other impacts may result if the disorder is not identified and treated effectively.

Sensory Processing Disorder can affect people in only one sense; for example, just touch or just sight or just movement, or in multiple senses.  One person with SPD may exhibit hypersensitivity and over-respond to sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food or other sensory input to be unbearable.  Another person may under respond exhibiting hyposensitivity and show little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold.

What are the symptoms?

A person with SPD may show signs of problems with all, or just some of the categories listed below.  An affected person may be over or under responsive to any of these categories.

Tactile-sense of touch and feeling

Vestibular-sense and feelings of movement

Proprioception-sense of position and perception

Auditory-sense of hearing

Olfactory-sense of smell

Visual-sense of sight

What does it look like?

The most notable signs of SPD present themselves in the following way:

Touch: They may avoid or crave touch, get irritated by certain clothing; for example, tags and sock seams.

Smell:  They may be susceptible to allergies, may need to excessively smell toys, items or people.

Taste: They are “picky eaters”, exhibit pica (eating non-edible items like chalk, crayons, direct, etc.)

Sight:  They have difficulty going down stairs, exhibit poor hand eye coordination, experience eye discomfort when required to perform visual work like reading frequent headaches and stomach upset after school, may need to read out loud to keep place, dyslexia and light sensitivity.

Auditory:  They may be upset with loud or unexpected noises, hum and sing to screen out unwanted noises, bothered by clock ticking, refrigerator humming, air conditioner running, cover ears a lot, speak loudly.

Proprioception:  They may have trouble judging weight of objects.  They will often write too lightly or too hard.  They may tear the page when erasing.  They have poor motor control and even run into walls or bump into objects by accident.

Vestibular:  This has to do with a persons’ sense of movement and balance that is processed in the inner ear.  They may like spinning, are fearful of heights and don’t like to be upside down.

In children whose sensory processing of messages from the muscles and joints is impaired, posture and motor skills can be affected.  These are the “floppy babies” who worry new parents; or the children who get called “klutz” and “spaz” on the playground because of poor motor skills.  Still other children exhibit an appetite for sensation that is in perpetual overdrive.  These children are often misdiagnosed and inappropriately medicated for ADHD.

In next week’s article, look for Part II and learn why this disorder is misdiagnosed and what treatments are available.

HealthKeepers Magazine April 2012

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