Sensory Processing Disorder (aka Sensory Integration Disorder) is something that I have learned a whole lot about over the past month or so. I had heard of it before then, but had never really taken the time to understand it.
So what is it? Well, that’s not very easy for me to explain. Unfortunately, its one of those things that affects each child a little bit differently than the next. It depends on which of the childs senses are impacted and to what degree. From the book The Out-of-Sync Child:
“SPD can cause a bewildering variety of symptoms. When their central nervous systems are ineffective in processing sensory informaion, children have a hard time functioning in daily life. They may look fine and have superior intelligence, but may be awkward and clumsy, fearful and withdrawn, or hostile and aggressive. SPD can affect not only how they more and learn, but also how they behave, how they play and make friends, and especially how they feel about themselves.”
So, how does it affect my Tommy? Upon reading this book, I immediately saw it. My Tommy is a sensory-seeker…to the book. Seriously, the sections on sensory-seeking children are so true to Tommy that they could’ve used him as an example when writing them. Great…I know what we’re dealing with…but now how do I convince others of it?
This is when I went shopping for an Occupational Therapist.