What exactly is a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?
Abnormalities in Sensory Information Processing (SI) can be related to ASD and ADHD / ADD, but can also stand alone. In Chung-Jansen Syndrome, atypical sensory experiences can be part of a complex coherent system of problems. Patients can show signs of hypersensitivity (under- or overstimulation) to the following senses:
- vision (visual);
- smell (olfactory);
- taste (gustatory);
- feeling (tactile);
- hearing (auditory);
- balance (vestibular);
- posture and sense of movement (proprioception);
- internal organs (interocepsis).
Patients may experience stimuli in either a hypersensitive (overstimulation) or hyposensitive (understimulation) way, and can perceive more or less information from the environment. As a result, their reaction to the environment can be unexpected or inappropriate.
Common problems in people with this syndrome are:
- hypersensitivity to noise;
- hypersensitivity to temperature;
- hypersensitivity in the mouth to temperature and texture;
- hypersensitivity to balance;
- abdominal complaints.
What Therapy is Available?
Children with sensory processing issues can receive help from a physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech therapist who specializes in this area. The therapist can draw up a sensory profile that shows the hypersensitivies or hyposensitivies to the various senses. Based on this, the child is treated with games and exercises.
In addition to therapy, it will be necessary to teach the child to deal with their stimulus processing (reducing, avoiding stimuli) and to pay attention to the regulation of the emotion they feel in this process.
A variety of sensory aids include:
- chewing necklace or other fidgets;
- headphones / earplugs;
- weighted materials such as weighting pillows and blankets;
- pressure vest;
- other sensory material such as shaving cream, sand, rice, etc.
- pictograms/daily structure charts.
For more insight and understanding of your senses, there are many books available.
The following list is only a few of them:
‘Living Sensationally’ by Winnie Dunn
‘The Out-of-Sync Child’ by Carol Stock Kranowitz
‘Raising a Sensory Smart Child’ by Lindsey Biel
‘Sensational Kids’ by Lucy Jane Miller