Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sensory Processing Disorder - Sharing Information

Hello Aspierations Friends!

When my youngest son came home from school today, he had on his weighted vest.  That often is a sign that he had a little "wild body" going on at school and there may been some self-regulation issues.  The teachers have a whole arsenal of techniques they use with Ryan and some days some strategies work better than others.  This was a weighted vest day.

As I saw him with his vest on, it got me to thinking about a topic I haven't talked about on this blog this month, but wanted to make sure to get in before Autism Awareness month was over.

Many children and adults that have autism also have Sensory Processing Disorder.  SPD is not an autism spectrum disorder and there are people who have SPD that do not have autism. That being said, since many people I have come across in my personal experience happen to have SPD, I wanted to share some information that I found from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation.

Sensory processing (sometimes called "sensory integration" or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or "sensory integration."
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as "sensory integration dysfunction") is a condition that exists when sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses.
Sensory Processing Disorder can affect people in only one sense–for example, just touch or just sight or just movement–or in multiple senses. One person with SPD may over-respond to sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food, or other sensory input to be unbearable. Another might under-respond and show little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold. In children whose sensory processing of messages from the muscles and joints is impaired, posture and motor skills can be affected. These are the "floppy babies" who worry new parents and the kids who get called "klutz" and "spaz" on the playground. Still other children exhibit an appetite for sensation that is in perpetual overdrive. These kids often are misdiagnosed - and inappropriately medicated - for ADHD.

Justin, Ryan and I all have sensory processing issues and I will cover this later in a future blog as our issues vary and it would take awhile to explain.  In the past, our children have had occupational therapy and physical therapy at NeuroTherapeutics in Oregon and we highly recommend their services.  We wished we could have used their services more often and certainly would be open to going back in the future.

Unfortunately, I don't have much time to blog right now but before I go, I would like to refer you to an excellent website for information, the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation.

Hartley's Life with 3 Boys also published an interesting blog about the subject and I recommend you checking that out too for a more personal perspective:

If you have any experience with Sensory Processing Disorder that you'd like to share or have any references, suggestions or techniques to suggest, please feel free to leave a note in the comments section!

Best wishes,


  1. hi, i just stumbled upon your post from last year about having aspergers syndrome. i think you are a very brave person :-) i enjoyed reading all of your stuff. i find it interesting that u had gone so long without being diagnosed. had you been misdiagnosed with anything in the past? like a.d.d? i have a special place in my heart for everyone on the spectrum. i've always felt comfortable around people w/ developmental disorders (at times more comfortable than when im around "average" folk i guess) my interection with these individuals was limited until about 3yrs ago my nephew was diagnosed with autism. since then i've jumped at the chance to talk with others about it. recently i have been wondering if i am somewhere on the spectrum. not as severe as my nephew but certain things have made me wonder

  2. Hi Nightingale,
    Thanks so much for reading a number of my blog postings. I appreciate your kind words. I was never diagnosed with anything related to autism, Asperger's or ADD/ADHD. Because I was fortunate enough to grow up gifted academically, my quirks didn't show up as prominently in an educational setting as far as grades went. (Emotionally and fitting in with peers socially, they were definitely there but at the time I was in school, Aspergers wasn't something anyone knew about.)

    I grew up an adopted only child and I guess I attributed my quirks to other things... The big issues that affected me growing up were sensory related (food issues, smells, sudden loud noises) and although I couldn't do a cartwheel or a push-up and I twisted an ankle or two a year, I bowled, played tennis and softball and was a real tomboy.

    I had some mystery illnesses a couple times growing up with white blood cell count and was treated for headaches, PTSD (after a horrible situation) and depression. When I was in college, I got help from a counselor for binge eating.

    I knew very little about autism and Asperger's before our children were diagnosed back in 2008 but I sure as heck researched all about it on the internet and library at the time. Asperger's presents so differently in women than in men so the diagnostic criteria didn't quite click for me at first but then when put in perspective of a woman and reading a lot online from other women on the spectrum, alarms went off, bells rang and I had a "Eureka" moment of both realization and self-acceptance. It was scary and yet such a relief.

    I also had come across an interesting test online. It's not diagnostic but the results confirmed a lot of what I knew about myself. It's in my blog, Aspie Quiz. You might find it interesting.


    Autism does tend to run in families. I'm adopted and I have a very strong suspicion there are others on the spectrum in my biological family.

    You might try checking out the Autism Women's Network if you're curious about yourself. Aspergirls is a great book too.


    Hope this information helps!
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Sensory processing disorder is called the neurological disorder. In this condition children are confused and they can not understand exactly, what they wants to do. Because brain can not detect the messages properly. Occupational therapy is the best treatment for this disorder.

  4. Hi Parag,
    Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I appreciate your link and input!