“From the moment he was born I knew he would be more difficult than my other children.” “She cried almost non-stop for the first two years.” “He will only eat chicken nuggets and refuses to try any new foods.” “Getting dressed in the morning is always a battle, because she cries and complains that her socks bother her.” Do any of these statements sound like your child? Would you describe your child as “high maintenance” or “sensitive”? Is he or she easily upset by minor things that don’t seem to bother other children? Do you ever feel like you are “walking on eggshells” just to avoid a meltdown and keep peace in the house? If so, your child might have symptoms of a Sensory Processing Disorder.
What is a Sensory Processing Disorder? A. Jean Ayers, an occupational therapist and developmental psychologist coined the term Sensory Integration Disorder in the 1960’s. Over time this term and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) have been used interchangeably by professionals working with children and adults who tend to over-react to their environment. But what is it exactly?
During the first five years of a child’s life their brains are developing very rapidly to help them make sense of the world around them. How the child processes information from the outside world through their senses (taste, sight, hearing, touch, smell, movement) affects their behavior, emotions and ability to learn. When the connections in the brain are not properly made problems arise. The child can’t tolerate or responds in an unusual manner to everyday events such as eating, dressing, sleeping and riding in the car. These are symptoms of a Sensory Processing Disorder, which often impacts the entire family.
If you have further questions, or would like more information, please see my webpage at www.simi-therapy/torquato.com or call 805-527-4146.