Sensory Processing Disorder

What is SPD?

Sensory Integration (Sensory Processing)

“Sensory integration is the neurological process of organising the information we receive from our bodies and from the world around us for use in daily life. It occurs within the central nervous system. When our brain effectively processes sensory information, we respond appropriately and automatically. Sensory Integration is the foundation of all learning. We require mature central nervous systems in order to take in, process and make sense of sensory information in the world around us. If our nervous systems are immature and not able to accurate perceive the incoming information, our responses may be inappropriate. If a child has difficulties modulating or making sense of sensory input, he or she may struggle to develop body awareness, spatial awareness, gross and fine motor coordination, ball skills, balance and muscle tone.”

Sensory Processing Dysfunction

“Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD (originally called Sensory Integration Dysfunction) is a neurological disorder in which the sensory information that the individual perceives results in abnormal responses. A more formal definition is: SPD is a neurophysiologic condition in which sensory input either from the environment or from one’s body is poorly detected, modulated, or interpreted and/or to which atypical responses are observed. Pioneering occupational therapist, psychologist, and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.”

Prevalence of SPD: How often does it occur?

Sensory Processing Disorder can affect anyone. Studies indicate that 5% to 16% of children exhibit symptoms of SPD.

(Ahn, Miller et. al., 2004; Ben-Sasoon, Carter et. al., 2009)