Saturday, October 11, 2008
This post is meant to honor Patty, a dear friend and dedicated mother of Danny, a sweet ball of energy who has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. This disorder is something I knew nothing about until learning about it from Patty. I think that everyone who interacts with kids should be aware of it. It is very easy to become frustrated with "hyper" or "spazzy" kids; it is more challenging and productive to find the root of their behavior and address it. I will quote from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation's website:
SPD can affect people in only one sense–for example, just touch or just sight or just movement–or in multiple senses. One person with SPD may over-respond to sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food, or other sensory input to be unbearable. Another might under-respond and show little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold. In children whose sensory processing of messages from the muscles and joints is impaired, posture and motor skills can be affected. These are the "floppy babies" who worry new parents and the kids who get called "klutz" and "spaz" on the playground. Still other children exhibit an appetite for sensation that is in perpetual overdrive. These kids often are misdiagnosed - and inappropriately medicated - for ADHD.
SPD is most commonly diagnosed in children, but people who reach adulthood without treatment also experience symptoms and continue to be affected by their inability to accurately and appropriately interpret sensory messages.
These "sensational adults" may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationships, and recreation. Because adults with SPD have struggled for most of their lives, they may also experience depression, underachievement, social isolation, and/or other secondary effects.
Sadly, misdiagnosis is common because many health care professionals are not trained to recognize sensory issues. The SPD Foundation is dedicated to researching these issues, educating the public and professionals about their symptoms and treatment, and advocating for those who live with Sensory Processing Disorder and sensory challenges associated with other conditions.
If you know someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD, consider passing this information on to them. It's worth investigating.
Love you Patty!