Sensory Processing Disorder / Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SPD/SID)
Every person has sensory preferences and every child or adult may experience difficulties in processing certain sensory stimulations, whether it is color, smell, taste, noise, texture etc.
Sensory Integration Dysfunction occurs when the integration process literally affects our daily functioning or our developmental capabilities.
Sensory Processing Disorder occurs when sensory inputs are not well organized and our brain is "confused". Such confusion may cause motor difficulties, various problems in social adjustment, frustration and more.
When sensory processing is indeed disordered, the child may not obtain enough sensory stimulation in order to sense the position and location of his body in space (his 'body scheme'), and thus needs his eye-sight to accomplish various tasks. Above and beyond, un-necessary and un-correlated effort is put into many actions, what causes many times for un-intentionally breaking of toys and products (what is then considered as violent behavior).
One can illustrate the disorder situations as a "traffic jam" which prevents certain sections of the brain from receiving necessary information the brain needs in order to correctly analyze and translate sensory inputs.
Studies indicate that the daily functioning of 1 in every 20 children are affected by Sensory Processing/Integration Disorders. Some studies even show a higher ratio of 1 in every 6 kids. Often, these children are mistakenly diagnosed, and thus mistakenly treated (also with drugs and other medicine) for symptoms and disorders they do not have (such as ADD, ADHD etc.).
Similar to other disorders children experience – also the symptoms of Sensory Processing/Integration Disorder are spread over a wide range of intensity and complication. Most of us suffer from occasional and temporary sensory disorders, however – for children and adults who suffer from chronic sensory problems, the disorder impacts their quality of life dramatically and on a daily basis.
Diagnosing and treating Sensory Processing/Integration Disorders is usually done by Occupational Therapists.
The sensory integration approach is rich in vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile inputs. The approach seeks to encourage the nervous system to process and integrate sensory input in organized and meaningful ways, which will ultimately enhance the ability of the nervous system to function more adequately. Each adaptive response, as it provides feedback into the nervous system, encourages maturation and organization of the nervous system at increasingly higher levels. Ultimately the individual is able to interact with his/her environment in more successful and adaptive manners.
This kind of training results in better self-esteem of the child, as well as his/hers willingness to cooperate and experience new activities, some of which are more complex than usual.