4 Signs Your Child May Have Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder affects thousands of people around the globe. Although it is not a harmful health condition, it does affect the quality of life of the people who have SPD. It can affect adults and children, and early intervention is vital for helping young people learn to manage their reactions to certain triggers. Here are four signs that your child may have SPD so you can identify the issue and get him or her necessary to help navigate stimuli.

Unexplained Clumsiness

Children with SPD often have trouble understanding how their bodies take up space and may bump into objects of other people frequently. This clumsiness may get worse in an overstimulating environment.

Dislike of Certain Foods Due to Texture or Color

While many children are picky eaters, those with SPD may exhibit extreme pickiness and only eat foods with a certain texture of color. Some children with SPD will only eat foods that are bright in color, while others will only touch beige foods. Others are not affected by the color of the food they eat but instead focus on texture. If you notice your child refusing entire food groups or eating only dry foods, you may want to initiate an SPD evaluation.

Trouble With Fine Motor Skills

SPD affects the five senses and most children only have trouble with one or two senses instead of all of them. One of the most common issues children with SPD have is with the sense of touch, which results in a lack of fine motor skills. If your child has trouble holding small items such as pencils or crayons or can’t perform simple tasks such as buttoning their clothes, you may want to speak with a professional about filling out an SPM-2 form.

Over or Underreacting to Everyday Stimuli

SPD is characterized by disassociation with the world around them when it comes to certain stimuli. Children with SPD may not react appropriately to everyday noises or objects but these reactions may be demonstrated in different ways. For example, children triggered by lights may either overreact or underreact to the stimuli. Children who are overreacting may avoid bright lights as much as possible while those who are underreacting may not be affected at all when bright lights turn on suddenly. Children may also react differently to loud noises. Some are startled by common noises such as a toilet flushing while others tend to focus on small background noises that other people do not notice.

All children have quirks, but if you notice any of these signs, you may want to have your child evaluated for SPD. Early intervention is crucial for helping your child learn to manage his or her triggers appropriately, so identifying the issue early on is important. With the right help, children with SPD can learn to react appropriately to various stimuli so they can live happy, productive lives that are not defined by their diagnosis. If you notice your child exhibiting any of these symptoms, consider reaching out to a professional for an evaluation.

Learn more about sensory processing disorder at WPS.