What Is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Children often suffer from several types of chronic diseases that may interrupt their regular functioning and might also create a hindrance in the path of growth and development. Sensory integration dysfunction, now known as Sensory processing disorder, is one such type of disorder that is responsible for creating neurological dysfunction among young children. Sensory processing disorder is such an issue that does not allow proper brain development in a child. Children who are affected by this type of disorder cannot register and synthesize information and message within their brain and therefore find it difficult to act according to the senses. If a child is affected by this disease, then his or her brain is not able to receive any message properly and react to any information which is accepted by the sensory nerves, because the sensory nervous system itself has been widely affected by the disease.
Sensory processing disorder is a neurological disease that affects children in different intensities and thus the outcomes vary from one child to the other. Some children can react to sensory inputs, while others cannot. This type of disease is common among children, but many adults too are found to be affected by this chronic disorder.
Sensory processing disorder occurs to a person, then he or she might have sensitive reactions towards any kind of event or situation. Some reactions might be numb, while for some the sound might seem overwhelming.
The common occurrences among people or children who are suffering from sensory processing disorder are listed here as follows:
- Children or sufferers have a lack proper coordination
- Find it difficult to respond according to proper situations
- They find it very difficult to begin or continue a conversation or any regular activity, even playing
- They have a tendency to rung into things
What Is Sensory Processing?
There can be several types of sensory processing. Some of them are listed here as follows:
- Proprioception. This is a sense of awareness that comes from within yourself, and this sense makes you conscious and aware of the surrounding situation and environment along with every step you take.
- Vestibular. This sense keeps you well-coordinated and balanced with the surrounding system and connects to the inner ear spatial recognition.
- Interoception. This sense tells you how or what you are feeling inside your body.
- Five sense organs. The five sense organs that are present in the body such as touch, hearing, taste, smell, and sight.
Symptoms Of Sensory Processing Disorder
There can be several types of symptoms of sensory processing disorder. Some of the common symptoms of the disorder are as follows:
- Either one of the five senses or all the five senses might be affected by this disease
- Sufferers might become over or under-responsive
- Children cannot be handled easily as they become quite restless
According to medical terms, sensory integration therapy can be divided into two types:
- Sensory hypersensitivity
- Sensory hyposensitivity
Both types have separate symptoms.
The symptoms related to sensory hypersensitivity are as follows:
- Low or mild pain
- A child covers his or her eyes or ears repetitively
- A clumsy appearance
- The child has a problem sensing hugs or skin touches, particularly soft touches
- They find it overwhelming to control emotions
- Lack of focus, attention, and coordination
- The problem in responding to messages
- Abnormal behaviors
- They have a particular preference for food according to food color or texture
- Constant running and jumping
The symptoms related to sensory hyposensitivity are listed here as follows:
- High intensity of pain
- Clumsily running and banging into walls or doors and even people or other things
- Abruptly taking things into their mouths, such as fingers or any substance
- The habit of touching things
- giving bear hugs
- rocking and swaying
Causes Of Sensory Processing Disorder:
The most difficult thing is that doctors and health care experts are still unaware of the exact cause of the occurrence of Sensory processing disorder among children. There are several types of assumptions regarding the cause of its occurrence, but there is no such evidence about what exactly causes this disease. But still, psychologists and neurologists have certain assumptions about the possible factors that might be considered responsible for the occurrence of Sensory processing disorders among children (and often among adults). Some such causes are listed here as follows:
- premature birth
- low birth weight
- stress and violence from mother or parents
- abnormality at birth
- excessive smoking, or high intake of alcohol or any harmful drug during pregnancy
- overexposure to chemical or radiation waves that affects the sensory nervous system of the body.
- lack of coordination of the brain and its inability to respond to external stimuli
Issues Related To Sensory Processing Disorder
According to some studies and recent sources, it has been found that those children who have sensory processing disorder have some other related issues too. Some of these issues might be the following:
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Commonly known as autism, this disease prevents a proper response system to any received sensory information. ASD in many cases can also lead to sensory processing disorder among children.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD causes difficulty for a person to reject the unrequired senses that cause a surplus of senses in the body. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can be a major cause of the occurrence of sensory processing disorders.
- Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a very commonly occurring neuro-psychological disease that causes the patient to create illusions, and this happens because the sensory system of the person gets disturbed. It is also known that schizophrenia can also often cause sensory processing disorder.
- Sleep disorders. Sleep disorder, sleeplessness, and related issues such as insomnia lead to the occurrence of severe disorders such as delirium which can also lead to the development of sensory processing issues.
- Developmental delay. Some children might have developmental delays or other issues related to both sensory and mental growth. These disorders can also lead to sensory processing disorders.
- Brain injury. Children who suffer from brain injury or any kind of brain damage are at high risk of developing sensory processing disorder.
Diagnosis Of Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory processing disorder is a neurological disease that is not easily administered and requires a lot of time for its proper diagnosis. There are several correct ways and methods that have been recommended by neurologists and psychologists to treat Sensory processing disorders. Some of these effective methods are as follows:
- Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) is basically a questionnaire that is used by therapists for the diagnosis of the disease.
- Sensory Processing Measure (SPM) helps to understand the child’s psychology and his or her sensory system
When To See A Doctor
As a parent of a child who has a sensory processing disorder, it might be difficult to decide the time when to take the child to a specialist. But there is really nothing to worry about it. Here are some of the indications that will confirm for you when your child needs professional help:
- Children cannot behave properly in their daily lives and cannot perform daily activities properly.
- They have difficult issues such as they cannot standing or moving their limbs at times.
- They may sometimes react so violently that controlling their emotions and behavior will become difficult and quite overwhelming too.
- Children find it difficult to react to any information or message received.
- The sensory issues interrupt their learning for which they can neither concentrate nor can they perform their studies or any other activities properly.
Treatment Of Sensory Processing Disorder
The most unfortunate thing about sensory processing disorder is that doctors and health care experts have not been able to invent any specific form of treatment for treating this disease. Yet there are certain common methods that are usually recommended by physicians for the healing of sensory processing disorders. Some such treatment procedures are as follows:
This is the most common method used by many neurological therapists, that is used to teach a child with Sensory processing disorder the ways to perform activities properly and to learn their lessons properly in the classroom.
Physical therapy is a kind of therapy followed to construct a proper sensory diet for the child who is suffering from a sensory processing disorder by making artificial activities that will help to satisfy the quest for sensory inputs in the body, for example running.
Sensory integration therapy
Sensory integration therapy is an amalgamation of both occupational and physical therapy, and it is an effective method to treat sensory processing disorder that helps children with the disease to sense and respond properly and induces their ability to perform efficiently.
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