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Sensory Processing Disorder

Pediatric Therapy Clinic Specializing in Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapies, offering Mental Health Services and Autism Diagnostic Testing in Crystal Lake, IL

Sensory Processing services offered in Crystal Lake, IL

What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a condition that affects how your brain processes sensory information (stimuli). Sensory information includes things you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. SPD can affect all of your senses, or just one. SPD usually means you’re overly sensitive to stimuli that other people are not. But the disorder can cause the opposite effect, too. In these cases, it takes more stimuli to impact you.

Children are more likely than adults to have SPD. But adults can have symptoms, too. In adults, it’s likely these symptoms have existed since childhood. However, the adults have developed ways to deal with SPD that let them hide the disorder from others.

Our therapists at Pediatric POST in Crystal Lake, Illinois, are trained in therapy intevensions to help intgrate your child's sensory system.  From occupational to speech therapy, the team can help your child succeed at home, school, and in social situations. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about sensory processing disorer. 

Sensory Processing Disorder Q & A

What are the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

SPD can affect one sense or multiple senses. Children who have SPD may overreact to sounds, clothing, and food textures. Or they may underreact to sensory input. This causes them to crave more intense thrill-seeking stimuli. Some examples include jumping off tall things or swinging too high on the playground. Also, children with SPD are not always just one or the other. They can be a mixture of oversensitive and under-sensitive.

Children may be oversensitive if they:

  • Think clothing feels too scratchy or itchy.
  • Think lights seem too bright.
  • Think sounds seem too loud.
  • Think soft touches feel too hard.
  • Experience food textures make them gag.
  • Have poor balance or seem clumsy.
  • Are afraid to play on the swings.
  • React poorly to sudden movements, touches, loud noises, or bright lights.
  • Have behavior problems.

Sometimes these symptoms are linked to poor motor skills as well. Your child may have trouble holding a pencil or scissors. He or she may have trouble climbing stairs or have low muscle tone. He or she also may have language delays.

In an older children, these symptoms may cause low self-confidence. They may lead to social isolation and even depression.

Children may be under-sensitive (sensory-seeking) if they:

  • Can’t sit still
  • Seek thrills (loves jumping, heights, and spinning).
  • Can spin without getting dizzy.
  • Don’t pick up on social cues.
  • Don’t recognize personal space.
  • Chew on things (including their hands and clothing).
  • Seek visual stimulation (like electronics).
  • Have problems sleeping.
  • Don’t recognize when their face is dirty or nose is running.

From physical therapy to mental health care, the experienced team at Pediatric POST can help your child develop new skills, improve communication, and enhance physical function. The providers work directly with children and their families to develop individualized care plans that address their needs and goals.

What is the treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)? 

Treatment is usually done through therapy. Research shows that starting therapy early is key for treating SPD. Therapy can help children learn how to manage their challenges.

Therapy sessions are led by a trained therapist. He or she will help you and your child learn how to cope with the disorder. Sessions are based on if your child is oversensitive, under-sensitive, or a combination of both.

There are different types of therapy:

Sensory integration therapy (SI). This type of therapy uses fun activities in a controlled environment. With the therapist, your child experiences stimuli without feeling overwhelmed. He or she can develop coping skills for dealing with that stimuli. Through this therapy, these coping skills can become a regular, everyday response to stimuli.

Sensory diet. Many times, a sensory diet will supplement other SPD therapies. A sensory diet isn’t your typical food diet. It’s a list of sensory activities for home and school. These activities are designed to help your child stay focused and organized during the day. Like SI, a sensory diet is customized based on your child’s needs. A sensory diet at school might include:

  • A time every hour when your child could go for a 10-minute walk.
  • A time twice a day when your child could swing for 10 minutes.
  • Access to in-class headphones so your child can listen to music while working.
  • Access to fidget toys.
  • Access to a desk chair bungee cord. This gives your child a way to move his or her legs while sitting in the classroom.

Occupational therapy. Your child also may need this therapy to help with other symptoms related to SPD. It can help with fine motor skills, such as handwriting and using scissors. It also can help with gross motor skills, such as climbing stairs and throwing a ball. It can teach everyday skills, such as getting dressed and how to use utensils.

With a team of therapists on-site to evaluate your child’s needs, Pediatric POST in Crysal Lake, IL can provide unmatched support to clients and their families. As your child progresses in their care plan, the team may make adjustments to meet their needs.

Call Pediatric POST today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about pediatric therapy and SPD.