In episode 43 of The Whole House podcast, Kathleen and I discuss what exactly is Sensory Processing Disorder. The book, The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A. defines SPD this way:
“Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is the inability to use information received through the senses in order to function smoothly in daily life.”
In short, that means a child (or adult since it’s not something that is grown out of), cannot process all his/her sensory input and has the wrong reaction to many things that “regular” people have no problem with. Sensory issues become a disorder when the person has an inability to function normally in day to day life.
If you suspect your child (or yourself) might have SPD, the STAR Institute is a great place to start to try and understand this disorder. It includes great information, including this checklist. Another great source of information is The Out-of-Sync Child. It is split into two parts, the first being how to recognize SPD, and the second on how to cope with SPD. One thing this book suggests is to document your child’s behavior. This helps to recognize patterns. Sometimes diet or phases of the moon (I kid you not) can affect the intensity of the symptoms. The book also makes suggestions on how to better get your child to focus. Occupational therapy is so helpful. An occupational therapist can not only properly diagnose your child, but also give you ways to help your child regulate. I have mentioned many times that my son regularly does his school work in a spinning chair or on the trampoline. He focuses so much better this way.
Most importantly, we ladies at The Whole House want you to know that we are here for you. The amount of information out there can be dizzying and overwhelming. The first step is to get a proper diagnosis. The second is to connect with someone that can come along beside you and say “I know exactly how you feel”. If you don’t have anyone like that in your life, contact us.
*Post by Lori Shaffer*