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SPD stands for sensory processing disorder and it is aneurological type of medical condition which affects the taking in, processingand responding to all the different types of sensory information concerning theenvironment and the inside of the body. These sensory information can beproprioception, vestibular, gustatory, olfaction, tactile, auditory and visual.People who suffer from this medical condition sense and perceive the sensoryinformation much differently than other people. It commonly leads to differentbehavior and responses and some tasks may be very hard to perform, especiallyeveryday work, leisure activities and self care. Some cases may be associatedwith extreme sensitivity which may result in confusion, fear, distress,agitation and extreme avoidance of activities. Some medical professionals claimthat the sensory processing disorder can be considered as a distinct diagnosis,while some other disagree by claiming that it is only a feature of certainother medical conditions. In most cases, the sensory processing disorder isassociated with numerous different types of language, behavioral, psychiatricand neurological disorders. It cannot be cured, but fortunately enough, thereare certain treatment methods which may be helpful in alleviating the symptoms.


The term sensory integration dysfunction or SID was firstused in cases of sensory processing difficulties, but over the years that haschanged. The term sensory processing dysfunction is now an umbrella term whichincludes three different diagnostic groups of the disorder. Type I is actuallythe sensory modulation disorder characterized by excessive or minimal responseto all different types of sensory stimuli. In this diagnostic group there areusually self absorbed behaviors, stubborn behaviors, negative behaviors,anxious patterns and fearful patterns. The type II is actually the sensory basedmotor disorder which can be characterized by a disorganized motor outputtriggered by incorrect processing of different sensory information. The thirdtype is called sensory discrimination disorder and it is characterized byincorrect processing of sensory information which may sometimes be accompaniedby sensory discrimination. Sensory modulation is a term used for very complexprocesses which take place in the central nervous system and are in charge ofconveying the information concerning the novelty, complexity, duration,frequency and intensity of the stimuli. There are certain types of sensorymodulation problems which may occur and those include sensory registration problems,sensory defensiveness and gravitational insecurity.

Hyposensitivities and hypersensitivities

Each person experiences different sorts of sensoryintegration disorders in a different way, characterized by varied intensity. Somepeople only get afflicted mildly, while certain others can barely performnormal, everyday tasks. A child can be born either hyposensitive orhypersensitive, and in both cases he or she may be affected to varying degrees.Hyposensitivities and hypersensitivities may affect one sensory modality orseveral of them at the same time. Hyposensitivity is actually the term used forunusually high tolerance for all different types of environmental stimuli.Hypersensitivity is a term used for abnormal intolerance to any type of sensorystimuli and it is also sometimes referred to as sensory defensiveness. When itcomes to treatment of such types of sensory dysfunctions, the trick is toprovide the child with just the right amount of challenge to motivate her orhim. Parents need to work with an occupational therapist in order to create asensory diet for the affected child. This diet needs to include a certainschedule of daily activities which are supposed to be filled with sensoryinformation. Sensory processing disorder may also be related to several other disorderssuch as the ones from the autistic spectrum of disorders.

Sensory integration therapy

Fortunately enough, there are a few different types of treatmentmethods available to children who suffer from the sensory processing disorder. Someof them have no empirical evidence but are still used in some case. One of themis sensorimotor handling. There are also certain types of treatment methodswhich were investigated in scientific studies, but due to certainmethodological problems there are not that much positive outcomes associated. Suchtreatment methods include auditory integration training, physical exercise andprism lenses. Sensory integration therapy can actually be characterized as acertain type of occupational therapy. It requires the child to be in a roomwhich is specifically designed for the stimulation and the challenging of alldifferent senses. Each session requires the therapist to work closely with thechild in order to provide the best results. There are four main types ofprinciples upon which the sensory integration therapy is based on. Those areChild Directed, Active Engagement, Adaptive Response and Just Right Challenge.Those children who suffer from hyposensitivity may be exposed to certain strongtypes of sensations designed to stimulate all the senses. Those who suffer fromhypersensitivity are commonly exposed to much quieter settings. One should notforget the fact the sensory processing disorders may affect adults as well.

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