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Sensory Processing Disorder


Some children are over-responsive to sensations and may feel overwhelmed by everyday input. Regular lights, normal touch or typical sounds can make these children feel constantly bombarded. They may avoid touch, messy activities, social situations or the playground. Other children are under-responsive and may seek sensory stimulation by fidgeting, constant talking or not appearing to register pain. Some children have difficulty regulating their sensory systems and sometimes under or over react. This can lead to motor, emotional or behavioral difficulties.




Signs & Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Overly sensitive to touch, movement, smell, taste, sights or sounds

Under-reactive to touch, movement, smell, taste, sights or sounds

Inability to unwind or calm self

Difficulty making transitions from one situation or activity to another

Poor self organization

Dislike of haircutting, nail trimming or other grooming activities

Avoidance of messy activities or being barefoot

Constant movement or restlessness

Activity level that is unusually high or unusually low

Avoidance of playground equipment

Physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness

Over or under sensitivity to pain

“Picky” eater

Poor concentration or attention

Impulsive, lacking in self-control

Tires easily

Sleep problems

Poor coordination, stumbles frequently

Difficulty learning new motor tasks

Easily distracted

General delays in gross and fine motor skills

Delays in speech or language

Delays in academic achievement

Social and/or emotional problems

Irritability, anxiety, behavior or social problems

Easily frustrated

Poor self concept


Typically, a child with a sensory integrative disorder will show more than one of the above signs.


           Identification of SPD and intervention can have a big impact on these children’s lives and their families.             Through occupational therapy with a sensory integrative approach, by a qualified occupational                  therapist, children with SPD can improve their sensory regulation, sensory processing, motor skills

            and learn  strategies to enhance daily functioning at home and school.


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