Sensory Processing Disorder: What’s Happening In The Brain, And How We Can Help

With five to 16 percent of children affected by Sensory Processing Disorder in some way, it’s clear that this disorder isn’t limited just to children on the autism spectrum, though it is common with these kids. Children affected by SPD endure chronic disruptions and difficulties with the challenges of everyday life. However, as science learns more about what causes SPD, therapies and interventions make it possible to help affected kids learn to cope and thrive.


SPD occurs when the brain interprets all sensory input coming through vision, taste, touch, hearing, and smell as being equally important. When this occurs, the child experiencing it is typically overloaded. Some neuroscientists liken SPD to a traffic jam in which all the sensory input being processed by the brain just stops.

The outward results of this traffic jam often manifest in behavioral problems, depression, physical clumsiness, and anxiety. Some children with SPD are hypersensitive, easily distracted, and unable to regulate their own emotions, and parents often don’t know how to help these kids.

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