Have you wondered why does my child struggles to wear socks and shoes? Why is brushing teeth such a chore in my home. Have you been tired of fighting your child to quit jumping and crashing into the couch? Your answers can be found in one simple acronym…SPD.
SPD, also known as Sensory Processing Disorder, occurs when the brain has a disintegration of the sensory stimulus which results in a maladaptive action. This maladaptive action can be manifested as head banging, biting and/or chewing on clothing or objects.
A sensory stimulus enters the body and the brain examines the stimulus and action is generated.
Sensory Stimulus----------------Brain Analysis--------------------Action
SPD is not a diagnosis at this time. It is in the process of becoming its own diagnosis. A child may have SPD in combination with delays or other diagnoses.
Sensory Integration (sensory-motor approach) is a treatment methodology used by occupational therapists to help regulate the brain in attempts to help the body self-regulate into homeostasis.
SPD was originally understood and outlined by Jane Ayers in 1960s. Ms. Ayers was a neuroscientist and an educational psychologist and then she became an occupational therapist. She discovered the body reactions to a stimulus while working with patients. Through her research and therapy intervention, she developed the therapeutic framework of Sensory Integration. Through the years, the name evolved to Sensory Processing Disorder.
Sensory modulation of a child is integrated through therapeutic intervention and motor planning. Praxis is also a component of SPD that is addressed in the field of occupational therapy. Motor planning is the eye-hand-foot coordination, balance, vision, posture control needed to execute motor actions such as jumping rope, jumping jacks, running, and other motor skills needed.
Through the use of therapy equipment and therapist-client driven activities like obstacle courses, a child can learn to move his or her body to complete the motor action.