Sensory Processing Disorder

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER (SPD) is a complex neurological condition that impairs the functional skills of 1 in 20 children. People with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound and movement. They may feel overwhelmed by sensory information, may seek out sensory experiences or may avoid certain experiences.

People with SPD experience their world as either Hypersensitive (over reactive, sensory avoidance) or Hyposensitive (under reactive, sensory seeker). They may also present with motor skill problems. They may react with strong emotional behaviours and experience what may be described as ‘melt downs’.

The brain and nervous system receive input from body parts as well as from the outside world. The central nervous system is also a means of transmitting messages throughout the body and functions somewhat like a computer system. The messages that are transmitted, however, affect functions such as muscle movement, coordination, learning, memory, emotion, behaviour and thought. As with a computer, a breakdown or malfunction in one part of the system often affects other functions of the system.

Sensations from hearing, vision, taste, smell, touch, pressure, and movement provide the input to the brain which is organized for movement, cognition and learning. The richness of the sensory environment and the interactive experience of the individual with the environment contribute to optimal development of function.

When there is a Sensory Processing dysfunction, it is hypothesized that the brain does not process or organise the flow of sensory impulses in a way that gives the child precise information about themselves and their world.

As a result, learning can be difficult and children may feel uncomfortable, or have difficulty coping with the stress of daily sensory and organizational demands. This often results in additional or behavioural difficulties.

Horizon Therapy Services we have a number of clinical methods to provide clients with Sensory Processing Disorder to assist in identifying problem areas and assist in managing the disorder by clinical intervention.