Sensory Processing Disorder FAQ






Sensory Processing Disorder can have a significant impact on a child's life, making it very important to understand its symptoms and challenges.

When we first learn about sensory differences, we have a lot of questions because it can be a confusing time. 

I remember when I learned about Sensory processing disorder, there wasn't much information around back then and I wanted to have a website with information of what I have learned over the years to help other parents. 

I wanted to create a frequently asked questions to try to help you on your sensory journey. 

sensory parent with sensory child Sensory Processing Disorder FAQ




Sensory processing disorder is categorized into three groups sensory modulation disorder, sensory discrimination disorder, and sensory-based motor disorder. Sensory modulation disorder involves hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) or hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) to sensory input. 

Children with hypersensitivity may have a heightened response to certain sensory input, causing them to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Children with hyposensitivity may not respond or react to sensory input at all. 

Sensory processing disorder can be challenging for children and their families too. Daily tasks can become overwhelming and exhausting for those with sensory differences. Going to a noisy grocery store, crowded mall or participating in a busy social gathering can be an exhausting and overwhelming experience for someone with sensory processing disorder. 

There are a lot of things that can be done at home to support children who are struggling with sensory processing disorder. Providing daily sensory activities such as sensory bins or fidget toys can also help children with sensory processing disorder self-regulate and cope with overwhelming sensory input. 


What are the symptoms of sensory processing disorder?

The symptoms of sensory processing disorder can be different for everyone but some common signs are:

- Difficulty processing sensory information

- Sensitivity to light, sound, touch, taste, or smell

- Avoidance of certain textures or fabrics

- Difficulty with fine motor skills

- Poor coordination and balance

- Over or under-reaction to sensory input

- Difficulty with transitions and changes in routine

- Behavioral issues or meltdowns in response to sensory overload



How is sensory processing disorder diagnosed?

Sensory processing disorder is not currently recognized as a standalone disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It is often treated by occupational therapists who specialize in sensory integration. They can evaluate an child's sensory processing, motor skills and behaviors to determine if they meet the criteria for SPD.



Is sensory processing disorder the same as autism?

No, sensory processing disorder is not the same as autism. It is commonly found in children who are autistic. It is estimated that up to 60% of autistic children also have sensory differences.


Can adults have sensory processing disorder?

Yes, sensory difficulties can affect anyone of any age. It is often diagnosed in children, but many adults live with undiagnosed SPD. Some adults may have learned to adapt to their sensory sensitivities. 



What causes sensory processing disorder?

The exact cause of sensory processing disorder is still unknown. Researchers believe that genetics, brain development and environmental factors may play a role. Some studies have also found a link between sensory differences and prenatal complications or prematurity.



Can sensory processing disorder be treated?

Yes, there are different therapy options for sensory challenges such as occupational therapy. Therapies aim to help children learn to manage their sensory sensitivities and develop coping skills. 



Can sensory processing disorder go away on its own?

Sensory processi
ng disorder can be lifelong but with the right support and therapy, children  can learn to manage and cope with their sensory symptoms. Some children may experience a decrease in symptoms as they get older, while others may continue to struggle with their sensory sensitivities.


Can sensory processing disorder improve over time?

With the right therapy and support, many children with sensory processing disorder  can develop strategies to cope with their sensory difficulties and improve.  It is important to work closely with professionals and regularly reassess treatment plans to ensure the best outcomes.


Is sensory processing disorder  a recognized disorder?

Sensory processing disorder is not officially recognized as a stand alone disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) but many professionals and researchers recognize and acknowledge sensory processing disorder as a valid condition.


Is there a cure for sensory processing disorder?

There is no known cure for SPD. Early intervention and occupational therapy for children can help them to manage their symptoms.



Who can have sensory processing disorder?

Sensory processing disorder can affect people of all ages, from infants to adults. It is estimated that 1 in 20 people may have sensory differences. It can occur in people with other developmental disorders, such as autism, ADHD and learning disabilities but can also exist on its own.


How can I support someone with sensory processing disorder?

If you know someone with sensory differences, the best way to support them is to educate yourself about the disorder and be understanding and patient. Be mindful of their sensory sensitivities and try to provide a calm and sensory friendly environment for them. Encourage and celebrate their successes and seek professional help if needed.




Here are some more helpful Sensory Processing Disorder Resources










DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.


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