Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

What Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is?

“Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurological disorder that is like a virtual traffic jam in the brain. The information from all eight senses is misinterpreted which causes a child (person) to often act inappropriately.”
The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation’s website says the following:
“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.”
To get a better understanding of SPD, let’s break the SPDF’s definition down into a more consumable definition.
“…the way the nervous system receives messages…” — this is referring to the messages received (also known as ‘input’) from all eight senses and how they are conveyed to the brain through the nervous system. The brain is the key component to the nervous system, as that is where the ‘processing’ occurs. By ‘processing’, we are in very basic terms referring to whether or not the brain ‘understands’ those signals. When the brain misinterprets the meaning of those signals, and can’t process them appropriately, it leads to an inability to turn them into appropriate motor and behavior responses (also known as ‘output’). Example: If the ‘input’ isn’t understandable by the processing system then the ‘output’ becomes jumbled or non-traditional in nature.
“…appropriate motor and behavior responses…” – ‘appropriate’ here refers to the assumed way that a child should respond – if something is too loud, they should pull their ear back, if something is quiet, they shouldn’t scream it is too loud. The word ‘motor’ refers to a physical response – how your body moves as a result of the information from the brain, and then ‘behavior’ how the child continues to respond (over or under reactions). Example: Loud unexpected BOOM! Kid cringes and covers his ears (motor), then screams and runs away (behavior).
There are three types of Sensory Processing Disorders and formal definitions can be found here. Here is a summary of each type:

Type I: Sensory Modulation Disorder – These are the sensory avoiders or sensory seekers; their senses are under or over reactive (i.e. they avoid touch or sound or like to crash or jump or etc.).
Type II: Sensory Based Motor Disorder – This is where discrimination of the senses causes confusion, clumsiness and impacts gross and fine motor skills (i.e. crawling, walking, writing, sight, low muscle tones.).
Type III: Sensory Discrimination Disorder – This is where the senses become confused so it’s referred to as “discrimination”.  For example the body has a problem determining spacial awareness (movement and balance), differing pain from pleasure, hot and cold.  Also, sounds, smells and tastes can come across very different then they should to be interpreted by the brain."

**ALL information was taken directly from SPD Blogger Network and not from me.**

I think Sarah experiences all three types in some way or another.  It sure can make life interesting!  

I just wanted to put this information out there so that people might be able to understand why Sarah acts as she does sometimes.  I will do my best to help her cope but sometimes it's out of my control and there's nothing I can do. I'm still on a learning curve here and every day I find out something new about her.  She teaches me something all the time and being her mom is the most amazing thing that could have happened to me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stephanie, it's comforting to know that there are other mamas out there with the same faith who are going through similar circumstances as my family. I have a 3 and a half year old son who has SPD who I plan on homeschooling. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts and I will be praying for you and your family.God Bless!!!

    Lindsey H.



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