SPD or Sensory processing disorder is an ailment that is not currently recognized in the DSM as a psychological health problem that occurs independently. SPD is where the central nervous system of the body takes in information from sensory sources or stimuli but cannot create an efficient and appropriate behavioral or motor response. It negatively impacts everyday functioning by building a disorganized and confused reaction from texture, sounds, and tastes.
One in every six individuals is affected by this neurological condition, and everything can be overwhelming. But it is noteworthy to remember that SPD may affect one sense or more. Individuals with the condition may react differently due to the variety of intensity of certain stimuli. It means that some of them might experience an overreaction to certain situations that may lead to intense screaming, throwing a tantrum, vomiting, etc. In other instances, it could be the opposite where people would experience under-reaction. These can include insensitivity or not responding to physical touch, not covering ears despite hearing a loud noise, or not minding the uncomfortable and strong taste of the food.
Issues with SPD can be attributed to the autism spectrum. Thus, experts believe that the condition should be included in the DSM and other diagnostic manuals. Experts understand that this is something not all professional health care providers know, and more of them are not well-trained to address its symptoms and further complications. Therefore, it is significant that people understand the need to look for someone specializing in SPD to get the best treatment for their sensory issues.
There are ways to overcome SPD, but before that, people should know the four types of the condition.
Sensory Modulation Disorder – It refers to the struggle of regulating the intensity of response to senses. Meaning, people with SPD may have problems with textures. Usually, they get uncomfortable touching or feeling a surface that is not that upsetting to most individuals. Examples can include disliking the texture of the food inside the mouth, hating the way their hair gets brushed, or feeling uncomfortable with other people’s touch.
Sensory Discrimination Disorder – It refers to the accurate classification of stimuli. It makes people unaware of their strengths. As such, they often encounter issues bringing too little or too much force when doing a task. They can also have problems with moving too slow or too fast while working on an activity. In some cases, they find it hard to focus on looking at specific things, especially in a cluttered space or background.
Postural Ocular Disorder – It refers to the struggle of managing physical utilization. Individuals with postural ocular disorder usually struggle to find their balance and are most likely unable to control body movements. In some unfortunate instances, some people cannot discern the dominance of their right hand from their left. Aside from that, they also suffer from visual issues such as the inability to track their eye line.
Dyspraxia – It refers to people’s inability to schedule, plan, and execute small and big things in sequence. It refers to the struggles of moving from one task to another. This specific complication can make it genuinely hard for individuals to accomplish a task that they need to do due to the effects on movement and coordination.
The Treatment For SPD
Occupational Therapy – The most effective and recommended type of treatment for SPD is occupational therapy. It’s a form of therapy that helps those individuals struggling with physical or mental health problems. The process encourages rehabilitation that supports people’s better performance in their day-to-day lives. It’s a type of therapy that assists people in understanding their needs to better engage in meaningful activities. Occupational therapy meets the needs for emotional and behavioral adjustments to accomplish a goal accordingly.
DIR Method – It is a type of treatment that works well with children with SPD. It is where therapists or caregivers exert a special effort to tailor interactions and communication to meet the children’s unique functional developmental level to reach certain milestones. That is within the framework of their processing indifferences that caters to various problem-solving exercises. In some instances, the method typically involves a team approach with speech therapy, educational programs, and occupational therapy.
Listening And Vision Therapy– SPD can negatively promote physical health problems. Thus, it would help if individuals would take time to realize the need for listening and visual therapy. They can start by listening to various sound frequencies and patterns to stimulate the brain while working on a balancing motor task. On the other hand, visual therapy improves individuals’ eye-motor skills, especially when they have trouble reading or writing.
These are a few of the therapies that may help with SPD. Other treatments can be beneficial as well, like speech and language therapy. In instances that SPD symptoms are way out of hand, medication and lifestyle change can also be useful.