Types Of Sensory Processing Disorder  

Sensory processing disorder affects how our  brains process and respond to sensory input. This can result in difficulties with activities and tasks each day. Sensory processing disorder can significantly impact a person's quality of life. 

Sensory processing disorder can look different for everyone but there are four main types of sensory processing disorder that are commonly recognized and diagnosed.

1. Sensory Modulation Disorder

2. Sensory Discrimination Disorder

3. Sensory-Based Motor Disorder

4. Sensory-Seeking Disorder

child with sensory processing disorder holding teddy bear Types Of Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Modulation Disorder

Sensory modulation disorder is one of the most common types f sensory processing disorder. It is characterized by difficulties in regulating and responding to sensory input. This means that a person with this type of sensory processing disorder may be either over or under-responsive to sensory input. Making it very challenging for them to maintain an appropriate level of arousal and attention. They may be easily overwhelmed by sensory input or they may seek out intense sensory input by always fidgeting or seeking out sensory stimulating activities.

Sensory Discrimination Disorder

Sensory discrimination disorder is when someone has difficulties in accurately perceiving and interpreting sensory input. This can result in challenges with differentiating between similar sensations like distinguishing between hot and cold temperatures or identifying different textures. People who have this type of sensory processing disorder may also struggle with spatial awareness and have difficulty with tasks that require them to use fine motor skills like tying their shoelaces, writing or buttoning their shirt.

Sensory-Based Motor Disorder

Sensory-based motor disorder is a type of sensory processing disorder that affects a person's ability to plan and coordinate movements in response to sensory input. This can be poor balance and coordination, difficulty with fine motor skills and challenges with activities that require bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body simultaneously). If someone has this type of sensory processing disorder they may also have difficulty with motor planning or performing new motor tasks.

Sensory-Seeking Disorder

Sensory-seeking disorder is constantly needing intense sensory input. This can be constantly touching objects or people, seeking out loud noises or seeking out physical activities that provide deep pressure or intense movement. This type of sensory processing disorder may seem similar to sensory modulation disorder, the difference is that individuals with sensory-seeking disorder actively seek out sensory input, whereas those with sensory modulation disorder may become overwhelmed by the sensory input. 

Sensory processing disorder can be treated by involving  a combination of occupational therapy and sensory-based strategies to help individuals manage their sensory processing difficulties. It is important to understand that every person who has sensory processing challenges may experience it differently so their treatment would be tailored to their specific sensory needs and challenges. 

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 give 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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