Is Sensory Processing Disorder Real? Yes!
Is Sensory processing Disorder Real? YES!
Sensory issues are real and yes, research has shown that there are differences between the brains of children who have sensory issues and autism and the brains of children who have sensory issues but not autism. Sensory processing disorder is a therapeutic diagnosis, not a medical one, because it is not a stand-alone diagnosis in the DSM-V, the manual used by medical professionals to diagnose children and adults.
Many occupational therapists and pediatric neurologists recognize sensory issues as a distinct disorder and are able to evaluate and diagnose sensory processing disorder (SPD). Knowing that your child has SPD empowers you, the parent, to give him the help he needs to be more comfortable in his body and in his world so that he is better able to function, cooperate with others, focus on learning, and make friends with other children.
SPD is not treated with medications. It’s important to look at the sensory piece before medicating a child for symptoms that appear on the surface to be caused by an anxiety disorder or ADHD. The child may have those problems, but it may also be that he’s simply exhibiting symptoms of SPD that can be effectively addressed with accommodations and a sensory diet of activities designed to help him self-regulate his activity, mood, and focus. Over time, SI therapy (sensory integration therapy) and a sensory diet can, in theory, rewire a child's brain so he has more typical sensory processing and much better self-regulation.
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