October 26, 2015

Seeker, Avoider or Both?

Guest post:

More about sensory processing disorder:

A Seeker loves movement, being rough and active, loves a stimulating environment, craves salty, spicy foods or extra chewy and crunchy foods, enjoys motion, crashes into walls or floors, loves running and jumping, needs to touch everything, cant sit still, and has poor attention span. Seekers also climb too high, climbing on everything, crashes into people and everything, licks and chews on everything, eating too much, doesn't feel pain like most do, over stuff there mouths, dump out boxes full of stuff and look through everything, engages in messy play with play dough mud, shaving cream and they're loud with little volume control.

An avoider is the opposite as a seeker. They avoid. Picky eaters, covers ears from noise, wont wear shoes, avoids mess and messy hands, dislikes anyone too close to them, doesn't like climbing and swinging, refuses bath time and swimming activities including water, complains about smells, doesn't like to brush teeth, complains about normal lighting that its too bright, over responsive to pain and feel everything more than they should, doesn't like tags and seams on clothes and avoids hugs.


October 24, 2015

How My Daughter Explained Her Sensory Overload When I Couldn’t

A guest blog post.  This hit home multiple times.

  One day when my daughter was 3, she came to me and asked, “What’s wrong with me? Why do I cry all the time?”

  I didn’t have an answer for her, and it broke my heart. She was desperate for me to define things going on inside of her  things she couldn’t understand. She was in her first year of nursery school and couldn’t get through a two-hour day without breaking into hysterics multiple times. Her teachers’ method of choice was to ignore her, and it wasn’t effective. She wasn’t acting out to seek attention. She screamed at birthday parties when they sang “Happy Birthday” and hated to get dressed in the morning, but she couldn’t tell me why. She cried while watching cartoons when a character seemed mad or sad or hurt. So, finally, she turned to the number-one person in her life she felt she could trust: her mother.

  I was speechless. I knew she was acting this way because she had sensory processing disorder, but I was stunned to realize she was aware of it. But how do you explain that to a child so young?

  I sat there, saying nothing. In that moment, I had failed her. That day I vowed never to fail her again. Immediately following this incident, I took her to a therapist to work on communicating her feelings. I found a sensory motor group for children her age and began to address her sensory needs with the help of an occupational therapist. I had a laundry list of evaluations to assess every possible area of her development. I left no stone unturned and over time, with the help of many different professionals, I started to piece together the puzzle of why my daughter felt the way she did.

  Although I started to feel more confident about our situation, my daughter did not. While I was gaining insight, but she was still in the dark. It was taking its toll. I had no idea how to fix it.

  One day at school, my daughter had a meltdown because she wanted to sit in a certain chair for snack time and the teachers wouldn’t allow it. She broke down in front of her peers while they all stared and covered their ears. The teacher had no problem telling me about this incident and said it was her job to teach children they couldn’t always get what they want. She said her meltdown ruined the rest of school day. I was devastated and so angry. I was angry at her teachers for judging my daughter and refusing to notice her cries for help. I was angry at myself because I didn’t know how to protect her. I had this smart, funny little girl who was sweet and compassionate and friendly, but she was starting to look worn and weathered. Her eyes were always red from crying. She walked with her head down and started to become anxious. Any little thing she deemed “wrong” she would nervously apologize for. She was drowning in her issues and I felt helpless to save her.

  Then one day my daughter, now 4, said the most amazing thing. She was bouncing around the house, extremely hyper and I was trying to get her to stop. She turned to me and said, “I can’t help myself, Mom! My brain feels tricky and my heart beats really fast.”

  I was amazed. At this moment, I realized my daughter was explaining her overstimulation to me in her own words. All this time, my daughter knew something different was going on inside of her. Because of the way others (including myself) treated her or talked about her, she thought these differences were bad. All the times teachers and I spoke about her behavior in front of her like she wasn’t even in the room, she knew exactly what we were talking about. She didn’t feel bad about having a sensory processing disorder. She felt bad because we made her feel like she should. After all this time, I had finally figured out what was bothering her, and I felt like I knew how to fix it. I needed to explain her sensory processing disorder to the one person who needed it the most. This is the gist of what I told her:

“Yes, your brain feels tricky. But everyone’s brains feel tricky about something. For me, I’m bad at math. I hate roller coasters and scary movies. They make my head feel funny and my heart beat fast. For you, your brain finds it hard to listen to loud noises or wear scratchy clothes. And that’s OK, because those things aren’t bad. We’ll work on them. I’m here to help you.

“Yes, you have a lot of feelings. But that’s not a bad thing. We can work on controlling your feelings. All those feelings make you so kind and caring toward other people. That’s called being sensitive, and it just means you have a big heart.”


  When I said this, I could see a wave of relief washing over her. It was the start of a brand new chapter for us: For my daughter, who finally found some concrete answers to questions she had about herself, and for her parents, who stopped hiding her difficulties as if they were something to be ashamed of. From that point on, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about her issues in a kid-friendly way. In the last year, we’ve started teaching her ways to recognize the signs of sensory overload and behavioral tools to express her overwhelming emotions in an appropriate way.

  Since giving my daughter this power over her SPD, she walks a little taller and laughs a lot more. She is silly and funny, not sad and anxious. Lately, I hear her say things like, “I am brave!” and she couldn’t be more right. She is, in fact, the bravest person I’ve ever met. She pushes herself out of her comfort zone more at the age of 5 than I ever have in my entire adult life. Her SPD came with an awareness that is far more mature than her five years. And for the longest time that awareness, without any explanation, made her feel like something was wrong with her. Now, we use that awareness to empower her. It may have taken awhile to get here, but it was well worth the wait.

A version of this post originally appeared on My Sensational Girl. 

October 22, 2015

Did this just happen?

  A few weeks ago we were at a family gathering trying to do a family picture with about 45 relatives or so.  It was hot and humid, with a misty rain too.  Sadie was having a hard time regulating her temp. And because of the time restraint that we had with the photographer, we had to move quickly from one place and position to another.  Two things that Sadie hates.  She was one very, very unhappy child.  I haven't seen the pics yet, but I'm pretty darn sure they are the worst pictures taken of our family.  But that's ok, it was my grandmas wish to have a big family picture taken.
  After it was all said and done I stripped Sadie down to her diaper, left her alone for awhile.  After about an hour of her telling us off in her own way, she finally calmed down.  She took a little nap and then became her happy little self that she normally is. 
  Later, it became a really nice evening so we went outside to watch all the kids running around and fishing in the pond.  She loves to watch the action.  Then I noticed that Sadie was trying to sit up. She's been doing this a lot lately.  She curves her body around and then leans up on her elbow.  If she would just put her hand down she would push herself right up into the sitting position. *sigh* Someday this little girl will get over her hand sensitivity and use them. But for now we will work with what we have.

These pics are not from that day, but it shows you how she moves her body around to the sitting position and then uses her elbow and sometimes even her head to start the sitting process.  

  As you can see, she curves her body to the right and then she "gets stuck" and can't go any further so from that point I usually guide her body into the sitting position.  On this day, I did exactly that. I held my hand on her thigh and waste to steady her and usually at that point she throws herself backward and starts laughing.  Well that day, I noticed that she was concentrating on the ground. There was no smiles, no throwing herself back, but a very serious face.  Then I saw her put her hands down on the ground and hold her upper body up.  SHE DID IT!! SHE USED HER HANDS! A miracle has happened. My heart was a thumping so hard (I realized later that I was holding my breath, lol) I didn't want to move, but I wanted proof that this moment was happening.  I called to my sister, told her to move slow so she didn't scare Sadie and told her to start taking pictures.  I needed to get this moment on camera.

Proof that she did it.  She touched the ground with her hands and she wasn't complaining.

Sadie didn't stop there.  Oh no, she took it one step further.  After I had my sister take these pics and I got over the shock of the moment, I noticed she was still concentrating super hard, slowly I took my hand off her thigh and guess what?!  SHE DID IT!  She sat unassisted for almost a minute.  

View from the right.

View from the front.

View from the left.

  I had to get the a pic from all angles to remember this moment.. I was so happy for her.  She conquered one of her fears.  She is hitting a milestone right in front of my eyes.  I seriously can't describe the feeling I get when she accomplishes these moments, these fears, these milestones.  It is like no other feeling in the world.

Sadie was smiling so big.  She knows when she accomplishes things and is proud of herself.

(By the way, she did this about 4 times that evening)

October 21, 2015

Sadie's thoughts

I read this poem and it just hit home in so many ways.  Just wanted to share "Sadie's thoughts"

Dear mommy,

I have felt your tears, falling on my face.
Someone else might think they are tears of sadness, because of what I can't do.


I know those tears pour from your heart out of gratitude for me, because of what I CAN do: I can love everyone in the purest form possible. Unconditionally. I can be judged, but will never judge in return.

I know different because I feel, in your hugs and kisses, that I'm perfect just the way I am.
I have seen you hang your head down in shame, when we go out on adventures.
Someone else might think you are ashamed of having a child like me.


I know you are ashamed of the grown-ups who ignore me, yet talk happily to all the other children. The grown-ups who won't look you in the eye, but stare at me, when they think you don't see. I know different because I've seen the many, many more times you have raised your head up high, with pride, because I'm yours. 

I have heard you whispering desperate prayers at night. Someone else might think you are asking God to make me a typical kid.


I know you are thanking Him that I got to be here, with you, for another day- exactly how I am. I know different because I have heard you ask me never to leave you. And I have heard you cheer for me, every single day of my life - you tell me I don't need to be typical to be amazing, I just need to be here.

I know you have a big job, taking care of me.
I know your body hurts, because I'm getting so big.
I know that more than anything, you want to hear me say your name.
And I know you worry that you aren't good enough, and that you will fail me.


I know that even on your worst days, you will always be enough for me, and I will always love you more than you know.

*Not sure who wrote this or where I got it from.

October 19, 2015

10 Things to Never Say to Parents of a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder

I know this entire month I have been posting a lot of guest posts and things from others blogs.  But the truth is, is that I am still learning a lot about sensory processing disorder.  So I'm trying to educate myself along with you.  This post was written for sensory processing disorder, but it also applies to all special needs.

*Guest post

Some things should be common sense. So it would seem. However, when your child has struggles with a disorder that causes frustrating behaviors, sometimes you get some strange looks, and you definitely get some off-beat comments. Today, I am sharing the top 10 things you should never say to parents of a child with sensory processing disorder.

I want to start by saying that before I knew about sensory processing disorder, I probably said some of these things too. In fact, I want to admit that there are times I still think them in my head when I am self-doubting everything we are doing to help our son. So, that’s the real reason for this plea.
You see, parents of children with sensory processing disorder are fragile. We carry a lot of guilt and we are constantly wondering if it is our parenting skills or our child’s ability (or inability) to process information. These phrases just cut us down and add to that guilt. They make our skin crawl and they make us want to scream.
Rest assured, though… those screams are screams crying for acceptance not screams of hate. In fact, we are screaming because we want so badly to explain what our children need to strangers like you and our loved ones, but it’s just so hard.

Top 10 Things to Never Say to Parents of a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder

“It’s just a phase.” | No, no it is not just a phase. A phase is liking a red shirt over a blue shirt. A phase is not screaming because your socks don’t feel good.
“He’ll grow out of it.” | He will grow. He will change. It is our goal to help him learn how to self-regulate, but he can’t “grow out of it” on his own.
“All kids do that.” | You are right. All kids have sensory processing preferences.  However, it doesn’t keep all kids from going to the grocery store, a public bathroom, or a birthday party, does it?
“She just needs more discipline.” | Oh, believe me… we have tried all kinds of discipline. In fact, we still parent her, we’ve just learned what is sensory related and what is her pushing buttons.
What not to say to a parent of a child with sensory Processing disorder

“Back in my day, that was called “being a kid”. | Back in your day, we didn’t know as much as we know now about the human brain and sensory processing.
“She looks so normal.” | She is normal. Thank you. However, her brain works differently than her peers.
“Your kid doesn’t look autistic.” | Let’s not even go there.
“He knows exactly what he is doing.” | Maybe. Most likely not. Either way, we are working on teaching him socially acceptable ways to manage his reactions.
“He just needs to run off some energy.” | Have you seen our house? We have a swing, a crash pad, a trampoline, a climbing wall, a sit and spin, sensory bins, and ropes… I am not sure “getting his energy out" is all that is needed.
“If he was my kid…. “| But, he is not. Please don't tell me to spank him, ground him, reprimand him when you don’t know what we’ve been through.
This is just the tip of the iceberg to the things that I hear on a daily basis. Here’s the thing. I know that the people saying these things to me just don’t know any better. They have never had to love a child with sensory struggles (or they didn’t know that was what they were dealing with). They have never had to endure the pain of trying absolutely every parenting strategy only to be left with frustrations. They have never had to watch their child sit in agony over a pair of socks.
My Child is not giving me a hard time quote

I could end this here and be done. Say my peace and feel like I have done my part. However, I don’t think that is enough. I want to help educate. I want to help spread awareness until there is acceptance. So, I have gathered 10 things you can say instead if you ever meet a parent with a child with sensory processing disorder. THEY WILL THANK YOU .

Helpful Things to Say to the Parents of a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder

She seems to be struggling with something…
How does that affect her day to day?
I know you’re a good parent.
We should get coffee sometime so I can learn more.
How can I support you?
Now that I know, what can I do to connect with him?
You’re doing a great job!
I’m here for you.
I believe You.
That last one. “I’m here for you. I believe in you. ” Those words are so powerful and mean so much, especially to a parent who feels judged, worn down, and alone. So the next time you meet a parent of a child with sensory processing disorder, stop before you respond with “if he was my kid…” and replace it with “I’m here for you. I believe in you.”

October 16, 2015

Managing Melt Downs 101

*Guest post
Managing Meltdowns
Managing Melt Downs 101
I don’t care who you are – at some point it’s going to happen to you. I am talking about managing melt downs. Celebrities define their careers with them. However, for parents of special needs children melt downs, or drama, are part of daily life.
Recently, I shared with a friend about our struggles in managing our son’s melt downs. She laughed and said my tips apply to her college age children and husband too. There is always comfort in knowing you are not alone. My husband and I only have seven and a half years experience. However, we have cried, yelled, screamed, laughed and made enough mistakes to qualify for an audition on the reality show, “Super Nanny.” We are no experts but hope to share our experience in order to encourage others.
So here are the seven habits of barely functional parents…..errrrr – I mean seven ways to manage melt downs. It is dedicated to other parents of children with special needs:
1. Plan – set the expectation – plan – repeat – pray:
Early on we did visual schedules, role playing and flash cards to sequence the events of an outing. The iPhone even has apps for this preparation. Now we run through a verbal sequence. It’s not bullet proof but it does set the expectation, and allow you to identify load noises or other sensory road blocks. We do a lot of repeating. We also find it is often a way of “talking our son down” from the edge of melt down. Faith and deep breathing are a big part of this drill.
2. Don’t worry about other people:
I struggle with this one. We live in a small community, which by definition means; you know a lot of people. I can’t tell you how many times my kid was throwing a fit and I felt the eyes of a judging on-looker. It helps deflect the stares with a comment like, “I am open to your ideas. What would you suggest that I do?” I find this one sends them scurrying. It sort of confronts them and forces them to give an answer. Often I have been surprised by comments of compassion and encouragement.
3. Go in with an exit strategy:
My husband and I joke that the invasion of a foreign country requires less planning. We identify our roles; who will take the kid outside and who will remain to pay the check or grab the needed item. It is also important to claim victory when you have not needed to implement the evacuation plan.
4. Check your sanity at the door: (This supports number 3)
If you have a cart of groceries and your spouse or partner is not with you, leave the scene. Your sanity is worth more than enduring an escalating melt down. Remember, kids feed off of your furry. If you start to lose it, the situation will escalate and mutiny is just minutes away.
5. Always have a motivator – but don’t count on it:
We are big advocates for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strategies. In basic terms your child has to demonstrate the appropriate behavior/task to get the reward. Some may call it bribery but there is more to it. It does work but part of your plan is to determine what you will do to get your child to comply when the motivator loses its zeal.
6. When all else fails – rely on humor!
When I think back about some of the things I have done, I have to laugh to myself. I am quite sure I will never earn the “Mother of the Year” award. Recently, I was desperate to get my child off the floor of a store. I was not going to give in. Knowing that my son is deathly afraid of parrots, I pointed to the ceiling and yelled, “Incoming! Incoming! Incoming! The parrot is coming for you!” My son jumped to his feet and yelled, “No Mom! Save me!” An onlooker appeared horrified. I smiled triumphantly and softly said, “Don’t judge me. It worked!”
7. Remember it is a journey not a race:
This last tip is one that another parent gave me when I felt down, beaten and completely defeated:  “Every roadblock I’ve faced with our son has taught me something, even if it was very, very small. Those little, tiny pieces of information eventually all come together and it’s possible to see the bigger picture. The hard times can be very, very hard. It’s so hard to see that it will get better, especially when we start to doubt ourselves and wonder what it is we did to be where we are. You have to realize that you were chosen to be your child’s parent for a specific reason. What’ll happen next – you’ll see some HUGE leap that you never expected. You realize that the melt down was just a bump…a blip on the screen, and you’ll wonder why you got so upset about it. You WILL understand it and it’ll all start to make sense. Keep your faith…it’s the only thing that will get you through the really rough patches.”
The most important thing to remember is that melt downs are not about you. They are about your child trying to process what is happening to them. The world they are experiencing is not the same one you are absorbing. Developing coping skills for these special kids takes a lot of time, energy and planning. In short, your patience and persistence will help them prevail. Celebrate those victories and pass them on to another family. There is no greater gift than sharing peace and understanding.


Finding a new bed

   The time has come for us to start thinking about Sadie's next bed.  I never thought it would be that stressful to pick out a child's bed, but I am so thankful to be able to have this stress.  4 yrs ago I was given a not so great prognosis for Sadie, so to be able to even think about getting a bigger bed for her for her 4th birthday is like a dream come true.  However, with this dream come true and everything else "special needs" it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Just to keep my child safe in a bed where she won't fall out,  it will cost somewhere between $5000-$9000.  Seriously ridiculous!!!!  That is just a bed frame, doesn't include the mattress.  For my other girls for that same price, for the same quality (if not better in some cases) of furniture we could get a bed frame, mattress, a dresser (or two), night stand, and desk and chair.  It's so frustrating how expensive special needs stuff is! 
  Here are some examples of some of the beds that I have picked out for Sadie. I'm lucky to be able to have so many choices. I don't want it to look like a hospital bed. I know that might be kind of vain of me but this is my home, her bedroom.  The less medical it looks and feels the better off all of us are. We already have a big oxygen concentrator, a suction machine, a pulse ox machine and a feeding pump in there (which I am grateful for, don't get me wrong), but that's enough hospital looking stuff for me.  One of the things that I have to consider is how high up do I want the sides to go.  Is she going to be strong enough in the future to pull herself up to sit/stand, accidentally fling herself over the side railing?  I don't know. But this will be the only bed that we will ever purchase for her so I have to think about those things.  I also have to think about if I want to the head of the bed to raise up, for aspiration or reflux reasons.  She doesn't aspirate or reflux now because of her nissen fundoplication (those loosen up over the years), but a lot of kids with CdLS and PTCD/PCH do so who knows what is going to happen as she gets older. That also has to be thought about.
  Decisions, decisions!  At least I'm able to make them for her.

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*If anyone reading this has any experience with any of these beds please email me or leave a comment.  It truly is overwhelming since I can only see these beds online.  Thanks


October 13, 2015

More on SPD: Sound Sensitivites

*Guest post
Auditory Processing Disorder
 Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a neurological condition contained within the Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) spectrum that affects how the brain processes sound. Children with APD often exhibit hypersensitivity to sound and have difficulty perceiving, understanding, recalling and using spoken language in an appropriate way while discriminating against environmental noise.

In clinical testing, using single tone stimulus, those with APD present a typical auditory response making it difficult to diagnose. In laboratory studies however, there is a common thread of auditory processing latency in those with APD. This delayed processing points clearly to a neurological basis for the disorder.

Frustration with not being able to properly process verbal interactions with others leads to behavioral issues similar to those with the condition of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD),  and in fact many with ADD overtly suffer from APD. Severe APD may be the cause for disassociation and lack of concentration and attention of those with ADD.

A child with APD:

1. Has difficulty listening for extended periods of time in school and “zones out”.

2. Does not respond to or has difficulty following verbal instructions.

3. Cannot communicate well in noisy environments.

4. Exhibits sound sensitivity and becomes easily stressed in noisy environments.

5. Has difficulty remembering information received verbally or through the written word.

6. Is over stimulated by or distracted by random noises.
Distorted sensory processing, leading to disorganized neurological development, can result in learning disabilities. However, auditory intervention can help to organize a child’s sensory processing skills, and greatly improve his or her chance to lead a full and successful life. Intervention can help at any age, but it is important to take action as soon as possible in order to maximize the result. Developmental symptoms include the following.

• Delayed speech.
• Lack of attention and concentration.
• Problems following verbal communications and directions.
• Limited vocabulary.
• Sound sensitivities.
• Agitated and easily distracted by noise.
• Delayed reading skills.
• Difficulty reading aloud.
• Specific confusion with consonants and similar sounding words.
• Difficulty with colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet, etc.
• Letter and number reversals or transpositions.
• Difficulty remembering facts.
• Lack of mental flexibility and ability to learn new skills.
• Other academic problems.
• Problems grasping abstract concepts like the concept of time.
• Slow development of fine motor skills and handwriting.
• Underdeveloped balance and proprioception.
• Injury prone.
• Difficulty communicating their needs.
• Disassociation and lack of empathy.
• Frustration with other children.
• Does not understand body language and facial expressions.
• Difficulty making friends.
• Impulsive behavior.


October 07, 2015

Tantrums and Sensory Meltdowns

October 01, 2015

National Sensory Awareness Month

  Sensory processing (sometimes called "sensory integration" or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or "sensory integration."
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as "sensory integration dysfunction") is a condition that exists when sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological "traffic jam" that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.
  One study (Ahn, Miller, Milberger, McIntosh, 2004) shows that at least 1 in 20 children’s daily life is affected by SPD. Another research study by the Sensory Processing Disorder Scientific Work Group (Ben-Sasson, Carter, Briggs-Gowen, 2009) suggests that 1 in every 6 children experiences sensory symptoms that may be significant enough to affect aspects of everyday life functions. Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder, like those of most disorders, occur within a broad spectrum of severity. While most of us have occasional difficulties processing sensory information, for children and adults with SPD, these difficulties are chronic, and they disrupt everyday life.

What Sensory Processing Disorder looks like
  Sensory Processing Disorder 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.
  Sensory Processing Disorder 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 Sensory Processing Disorder 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.

The causes of Sensory Processing Disorder
  What causes Sensory Processing Disorder is a pressing question for every parent of a child with SPD. Many worry that they are somehow to blame for their child's sensory issues.  "Is it something I did?" parents want to know.
  The causes of SPD are among the subjects that researchers at Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and their collaborators elsewhere have been studying. Preliminary research suggests that SPD is often inherited. If so, the causes of SPD are coded into the child's genetic material. Prenatal and birth complications have also been implicated, and environmental factors may be involved.
  Of course, as with any developmental and/or behavioral disorder, the causes of SPD are likely to be the result of factors that are both genetic and environmental. Only with more research will it be possible to identify the role of each.
  A summary of research into causation and prevalence is contained in Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder (New York: Perigee, 2006).

Emotional and other impacts of Sensory Processing Disorder
  Children with Sensory Processing Disorder often have problems with motor skills and other abilities needed for school success and childhood accomplishments. As a result, they often become socially isolated and suffer from low self-esteem and other social/emotional issues.
  These difficulties put children with SPD at high risk for many emotional, social, and educational problems, including the inability to make friends or be a part of a group, poor self-concept, academic failure, and being labeled clumsy, uncooperative, belligerent, disruptive, or "out of control." Anxiety, depression, aggression, or other behavior problems can follow. Parents may be blamed for their children's behavior by people who are unaware of the child's "hidden handicap."
  Effective treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder is available, but far too many children with sensory symptoms are misdiagnosed and not properly treated. Untreated SPD that persists into adulthood can affect an individual's ability to succeed in marriage, work, and social environments.

How Sensory Processing Disorder is treated
  Most children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)are just as intelligent as their peers. Many are intellectually gifted. Their brains are simply wired differently. They need to be taught in ways that are adapted to how they process information, and they need leisure activities that suit their own sensory processing needs.
  Once children with Sensory Processing Disorder have been accurately diagnosed, they benefit from a treatment program of occupational therapy (OT) with a sensory integration (SI) approach. When appropriate and applied by a well-trained clinician, listening therapy (such as Integrated Listening Systems) or other complementary therapies may be combined effectively with OT-SI.
  Occupational therapy with a sensory integration approach typically takes place in a sensory-rich environment sometimes called the "OT gym." During OT sessions, the therapist guides the child through fun activities that are subtly structured so the child is constantly challenged but always successful.
  The goal of Occupational Therapy is to foster appropriate responses to sensation in an active, meaningful, and fun way so the child is able to behave in a more functional manner. Over time, the appropriate responses generalize to the environment beyond the clinic including home, school, and the larger community. Effective occupational therapy thus enables children with SPD to take part in the normal activities of childhood, such as playing with friends, enjoying school, eating, dressing, and sleeping.
  Ideally, occupational therapy for SPD is family-centered. Parents are involved and work with the therapist to learn more about their child's sensory challenges and methods for engaging in therapeutic activities (sometimes called a "sensory diet)" at home and elsewhere. The child's therapist may provide ideas to teachers and others outside the family who interact regularly with the child. Families have the opportunity to communicate their own priorities for treatment.
  Treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder helps parents and others who live and work with sensational children to understand that Sensory Processing Disorder is real, even though it is "hidden." With this assurance, they become better advocates for their child at school and within the community

*I copied all this info from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation website.