Sensory Processing

Our Senses are simply made up of many senses most of which we have no control or no knowledge of the process that goes on in our bodies. The reason why I am discussing this issue is because for some children they do not have just one condition or disorder, sometimes a co-morbidity exists this has brought me to my research into Sensory Processing Disorder or Sensory Integration Dysfunction.

For some of us our sensory system does not regulate well, every person has a profile, which we would understand as preferences. Some of us don't like the sound of vacuum cleaners, fans, blenders or other noises, others feel a compulsion to move continuously, some like touch or are over sensitive to touch. All of the sense are involved, touch, taste, feel, sight, sound and movement. What is most heard of is children who are oversensitive to touch examples include finding the seams in socks overwhelming, tags on clothing causing abnormal distress or preference for clothing such as long/short sleeve.

What is the tricky part of this is that for some the flags can present as individual preferences which in a healthy sensory system it would be, however it proves difficult for the children affected to function without pain or interference in their daily life. Sometimes the condition is misdiagnosed for ADHD, ADD and Autism as the symptoms of fidgeting, continuous movement and lack of concentration are flags for other conditions as well. What occurs with mis-diagnosis is that the treatment actually does not work in the long term, which can be disheartening for the parents and the children involved.

The question is how does this effect our lives and the people who we are involved with? What we notice the most is the behaviour. The difficulties of parenting, tantrums, meltdown, the accomodations we have naturally made, trouble in school, home, or other places, comments from Teachers of visits to the Principal's office. 

Once you have made a choice as to whether or not your son/daughter may have sensory processing issues. 

My suggestions are the following:

  • Do some further reading on Sensory Processing Disorder; there are some great websites that can give you clues for your child. Books that I have already found to be helpful, The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child has fun (exercises for each type of sense) by Carol Kranowitz (I will provide a list of books at a later date)
  • Find a Occupational Therapist in your area
  • Complete a Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist that can show you the areas of concern, you can either fill this in before you speak to an OT or after, but it can help knowing a little bit of information on what could be the problem. They will most likely ask you to fill in a different one once you have made contact with with the OT.
  • At some point in this process make sure you as the parent has some time out or a break, the challenges of raising a child with Sensory Issues can be extremely overwhelming at the best of times be kind to yourself.
At this stage I am completely new in understanding Sensory Issues, so I apologise for the basic information that I have provided as I know some of you (which is what I think sometimes) may need thorough information. Check through my most recent posts and I process this journey and also the things that I have learnt along the way.


While looking through different websites here are some short pdf documents on Sensory Processing and Listening Therapy