Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder


ASD (Photo credit: jshj)

All kids can be picky or quirky when it comes to their likes and dislikes but if it interferes with their everyday functioning there could be something more to it. Most children with Autism have some form of SPD or Sensory Processing Disorder (formerly known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction). SPD is basically the way the nervous system gets messages from the senses and turns them into motor and behavioral responses. I think pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD said it best, she referred to SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that stops particular areas of the brain from getting the information it needs to read the sensory information appropriately. People with SPD find it hard to process and act on information they get through the senses, which can create difficulty when performing everyday things. People can be affected in only one sense or in multiple senses.

Photo of Anna Jean Ayres

Photo of Anna Jean Ayres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some signs of spd

Covers ears over every loud sound, even non- offensive sounds like vacuums or hairdryers

Sensitive to lights, natural or artificial

Shows little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold or overreaction to pain or hot and cold

Has issues with food textures, often gagging when trying new foods (very picky eater)

Hates messy hands, touching fingers paints, mud, play-doh etc..

Cries or gets upset over clothing tags or textures

Poor coordination

Excessive risk taking, crashing into things

Can’t be touched or can’t be touched enough

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8 thoughts on “Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

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