Friday, April 01, 2011

Smelling The Light - Autism And Sensory Processing Disorder

This is a photo of a typical sensory moment for Bella. According to studies by The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation more than three-quarters (78%) of children with autistic spectrum disorders have significant symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder.

So what exactly is Sensory Processing Disorder? Here is a definition from The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation:

"Sensory processing refers to our ability to take in information through our senses (touch, movement, smell, taste, vision, and hearing), organize and interpret that information, and make a meaningful response. For most people, this process is automatic. We hear someone talking to us, our brains receive that input and recognize it as a voice talking in a normal tone, and we respond appropriately.

Children who have a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), however, don’t experience such interactions in the same way. SPD affects the way their brains interpret the information that comes in; it also affects how they respond to that information with emotional, motor, and other reactions.

For example, some children are over-responsive to sensation and feel as if they're being constantly bombarded with sensory information. They may try to eliminate or minimize this perceived sensory overload by avoiding being touched or being particular about clothing.

Some children are under-responsive and have an almost insatiable desire for sensory stimulation. They may seek out constant stimulation by taking part in extreme activities, playing music loudly, or moving constantly. They sometimes don’t notice pain or objects that are too hot or cold, and may need high intensity input to get involved in activities. Still others have trouble distinguishing between different types of sensory stimulation."

Peace, Love, and Light!
Kevin (Cloud)

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