Sensory Processing Disorder in Children
Being a parent can be one of the toughest jobs in the world. Being responsible for the development and well-being of a child can be difficult if a parent doesn’t understand his/her child. In the past, a child’s behavior was often taken at face value. Misbehaving kids were tagged as bad or ill-bred and those who don’t perform in school were perceived as having poor intellect.
Today, developments in psychology encourage parents to look beyond the behavior and search for its possible cause so they can help their children achieve goals in life. Some unusual behavior of children may be caused by a condition called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). It is a possibility that parents can consider if they’re having difficulties understanding the behavior of their young children.
Children who have trouble with receiving and interpreting varied sensory input exhibit symptoms of Sensory Process Disorder. According to the SPD Foundation website, Sensory Process Disorder is a condition wherein sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses. One might say that their neurons simply have faulty wiring and they react differently to normal stimuli.
They may be sensitive to a light touch and yet have high-tolerance for pain, disturbed by everyday sounds like hair dryer or flushing toilet, or have difficulties in performing some activities like buttoning shirt or zipping pants. There are more symptoms associated with this disorder and some of them are similar to behaviors attributed to Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, or ADHD so it is best to seek professional help to get a proper diagnosis.
Psychologists, Neurologists and Occupational Therapists sometimes work together in diagnosing and treating kids with SPD. This condition can affect a child’s daily functioning, social and family relationships, behavior modification, emotional control, esteem and learning. Understanding the child’s condition is the first step in helping them cope with the challenges of daily living. Occupational Therapy programs with a Sensory Integration (SI) approach is the usual treatment given to children with SPD. This treatment can be more effective with the help of family members who work together with the therapists in the program.