Monday, August 18, 2008

What is SPD?

So what is SPD?  Sensory Processing Disorder has also been called Sensory Integration Disfunction. It is a neurological disorder affecting the sensory abilities. It is estimated that the condition affects as many as 1 in 20 children.  The following quote is from the book Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D, OTR.  "Children with SPD experience touch, taste, sound, smell, movement, and other sensations differently from typical children. Some feel sensations more intensely, others feel them less intensely, and some just don't get sensory information 'right' - 'up' feels the same as 'down', or a penny feels the same as a button. Because they don't process sensory information the way other children do, sensational kids don't behave the way other kids do, either."

Like other disorders, such as AD/HD, SPD affects people to varying degrees, and in different ways. As I've said, my Son is on the mild to moderate end of the scale, which is not to down play the way it effects his life and our family. In fact, getting a diagnosis and services to help him has been very difficult because his behavior is closer to "normal". SPD can look a lot like AD/HD. Son actually also has a diagnosis of AD/HD inattentive type, which I will refer to ADD for simplicity. He is not hyper in the classic sense. He does find it hard to sit still and be comfortable. In the classroom he has obvious difficulties remaining focused and on task. Son also has a mix of how SPD affects him, in that in some areas his senses are over responsive and in others he is under responsive. Some examples; sudden loud noises tend to distress him more than the average person. He has some dispraxia, which is a difficulty translating sensory information into physical movement. For my Son this shows up in things like the difficulty he has in perfecting his swim strokes. He can swim, (it's a great activity for people with SPD!) but getting his strokes to a level where he can be competitive on the swim team is tough.  He has trouble with planning and executing the tying of shoes.  He can be over or under responsive to his environment which makes it difficult for him to focus in class. This is where it can be hard to tell SPD from ADD. It is possible to have both. I am sure Son has SPD. He may have ADD, too. I don't know, and I don't think anyone else really does either. I'm just trying to help him become the most successful person he can be as he grows up, even when I have to fight to get him help and accommodations in school. That is our version of SPD, for now.

By request, I've included some pics of our house.

1 comment:

Lisa Leonard said...

i agree, its been way too long and we NEED to see each other! great insights into SPD. parents are the experts. the house looks lovely!