January 30, 2014

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Before reading about SPD, please watch this video with child's point of view on sensory processing. Child is diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
Video: Sensory Processing Disorder by child's view on the problem

Sensory processing is the process of organizing sensations from environment and from body to develop and produce adaptive responses and to function efficiently.
Sensory integration is just a frame of references used by therapists to treat sensory processing dysfunction/disorder (SPD).

What senses/sensory systems are involved: vision, auditory, taste, smell, touch, vestibular (movement and had position), proprioceptive (sense of muscles and joints, tells about body, controls amount of force muscles should generate to protein task - you may see it when child had difficulties grading strength of pencil grip and pressure on pencil).


SPD has different types: 
Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD): 
1. Sensory over-responsivity (hyperresponsivity/defensiveness). Could be aggressive avoiding stimuli like touch, sound (covering ears, avoiding crowded noisy places), texture
2. Sens. under-responsive (lethargic, slow)
Both types of disorders are sensory seeking, but seeking different types of stimuli. First is looking for stimuli to calm themselves down. Second - to increase arousal state.

Sensory modulation is directed to improve high level skill called self-regulation which involves other components (behavioral, cognitive, social emotional).
Working on sensory processing deficits requires family support and providing "sensory diet" activities. (See below link to resources).
After an assessment of a child (SPM sensory processing measure) plan school and home activities including sensory diet (sensory strategies,  environmental modifications). 

Sensory diet (Patricia Wilbarger) - repeated beneficial sensory input to modulate sensory system. There is positive feedback on benefits of using movement, deep pressure, weighed vests, discs, brushing protocol and other elements and activities of sensory diet (there is no evidence-based proven research, demonstrating positive effect. Effect must be monitored over long period of time and adjusted according to the child's needs and responses).

To be continued

References:
materials from online resources and autism workshops provided by different organizations were used in this article. Full list of references will be published later.

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