Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

ADHD

Get Email Updates

ADHD Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Sensory Processing Disorder: The New ADHD?

By Darlene Oakley HERWriter
 
Rate This
Sensory Processing Disorder: The New ADHD? 0 5
move over ADHD, make room for sensory processing disorder
Divakaran Dileep/PhotoSpin

An Introduction to Sensory Processing Disorder

Until recently, sensory processing disorder has always been associated with ADHD or autism, and not always recognized as its own distinct disorder. It’s also not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists. (1)

“Sensory processing disorders (SPD) are more prevalent in children than autism and as common as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yet the condition receives far less attention partly because it’s never been recognized as a distinct disease.” (1)

Sensory processing disorders affect 5-16 percent of school-aged children in the United States. (2)

What is Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing disorder is a global umbrella term that includes all three primary types — sensory modulation disorder, sensory discrimination disorder, and sensory-based motor disorder. (5)

Occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., described SPD as a neurological “traffic jam” that “keeps certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.” (4) When the brain struggles to read the sensory inputs, individuals may appear agitated or confused. (3)

Children (and adults) who struggle to process their environment may demonstrate clumsiness, poor fine motor skills, easy distractibility, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression and school failure. (4) They may react inappropriately or hyperactively to sounds, sights and textures. (1,3)

Because children with SPD have difficulty listening, focusing, and processing information, they may be thought to have ADHD, but SPD is different. (3) With SPD, the observed hyperactivity is usually in response to certain things that happened or didn’t happen in the surrounding environment.

The SPD Foundation has a list of red flags that could indicate that your child might have SPD. You can see that list here.

The SPD Foundation also has a checklist of characteristics for children who might have sensory processing disorder.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1628 Health

Changed

604 Lives

Saved

453 Lives
2 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Do your teens have their own cellphones?:
View Results