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Understanding - Sensory Processing Disorder

When the nervous system in our body receives messages from the senses, the brain turns them into responses and this is called 'Sensory Processing.'

In case the brain does not convert the signal into appropriate responses, it leads to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

People with SPD respond differently to sensory information as compared to other people. Although the senses such as sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell are working properly, the data sent by them to the brain is not being process the way it should be.

For people with SPD simple things such as sounds, textures, touch can be overwhelming causing them to have adverse behavioral and physical reactions.

Cause

Sensory Processing Disorder is also known as sensory integration dysfunction.

There is no information currently available about the cause of Sensory Processing Disorder. However, in some cases the disorder may be caused due to genetic factors.

"With meltdowns, behavior concerns, therapies, the parent may feel like SPD is the end of the world. It is not. Identifying the problem and going to correct person is the beginning. There are many teachers/unauthorised people giving away sensory diet charts and programmes. Be wary of them. Consulting an Occupational therapist and accordingly planning a treatment plan goes a long way", says Shivani Wadhwa, a counselling psychologist.

Treatment

The treatment of SPD varies from person to person or child to child depending on individual needs. Occupational therapist can help children learn to cope with the various symptoms caused by the disorder.

With meltdowns, behavior concerns, therapies, the parent may feel like SPD is the end of the world. It is not. Identifying the problem and going to correct person is the beginning. There are many teachers/unauthorised people giving away sensory diet charts and programmes. Be wary of them. Consulting an Occupational therapist and accordingly planning a treatment plan goes a long way. Sooner the better so early intervention is very important. Many a times there are underlying co-morbidities seen with spd. Identifying early, Guidance from right person and regular therapy is the key for easy transition to routine activities at home, play and school. - Dr Dhara Desai, Occupational Therapist,Prayatna Early Intervention Program.

Children can be taught to build tolerance to things and activities that they are averse to. The treatment for sensory processing problems is called sensory integration and can help the affected people lead a better life.

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