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Autism And Disorders With Sensory Processes

According to medical researchers, a sensory process disorder or SPD, is basically a neurological disorder that causes difficulties in processing information from the five senses namely vision, touch, auditory, olfaction and taste. SPD also refers to difficulty in processing information from sense of movement and/or positional sense. For people with sensory process disorders, sensory information is generally sensed, however it’s abnormally perceived. Sensory information is generally received by individuals suffering from SPD, however the information is processed in an unusual way by the brain, and may at times cause confusion and distress within the person. How does sensory process disorder deal or relate with autism?

Sensory Process Disorders Can Be Linked To Neurological Disorders Such As Autism
Sensory process disorders can be linked or related with neurological disorders such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), multiple sclerosis, developmental dyspraxia, autism and others. Sensory process disorders have no known cure, however the good thing is that a number of effective treatments are now available.

Three Primary Groups of SPD
According to occupational therapists, a sensory process disorder or dysfunction is a large umbrella which includes all forms of the disorder, and is grouped in three major diagnostic groups or types. Type 1 is Sensory Modulation Disorder. Sensory modulation disorder includes self-absorbed behavior, stubborn behavior and behaviors which are difficult to engage and are actively seeking sensation. Type 2 refers to Sensory-Based Motor Disorder. In type 2, a person’s motor output is very disorganized, as a result of the incorrect processing of sensory information that affects motor planning and postural control. Type 3 refers to Sensory Discrimination Disorder. With type 3, an individual suffers from incorrect processing of sensory information, visual or auditory output, and may reflect or exhibit itself as inattentiveness, poor school performance and disorganization.

How To Identify If Your Child Is Experiencing a Sensory Process Disorder
In order for parents to be aware if their child is experiencing or suffering from a sensory process disorder, observe the child and see if you notice the following symptoms : The child regularly puts non-food items in his/her mouth; the child likes to regularly crash into furniture or walls; the child stuffs his/her mouth while eating; the child is afraid of water, loud noise, sand and new experiences; the child is a very picky eater.

Sensory Process Disorder and Its Relation To Autism
In autistic children and adults, it’s quite common to see unusual responses to stimuli. As of today, there has been no concrete evidence to indicate that the sensory symptoms differentiate autism from other developmental disorders. Most autism suffers basically exhibit the same sensory process disorders as other neurological ailments. Sensory process disorder, which is also referred to a sensory integration dysfunction, is now becoming widely accepted and treated by all health professionals, and although the theories behind the disorder have been around for decades, a lot still needs to be done to further analyze the disorder, and devise or craft better interventions for it.

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April 18th, 2010

Johnny Ellis



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