Does your child seem to have unusual aversions to noise or light? Does she complain often about shoes that are too tight, or clothes that are irritating? Does he seem to be unnaturally clumsy, or does he throw tantrums when you tell him to wash his face?
It’s easy to assume that your children are being difficult, but before you peg them as disobedient or immature, consider the possibility of sensory processing disorder (SPD). This is a developmental disorder that causes your child to have difficulty processing all the information coming in, and they can’t understand what’s happening both internally and externally.
You’d be surprised to know that many parents are starting to observe these symptoms in their children, and we are starting to learn more and more that these symptoms could be a physiological problem. SPD is a symptom of autism, but also found in ADHD, OCD and other developmental disorders – or even, no diagnosis at all. That’s why SPD can be a baffling and alarming problem.
Here are three common symptoms of SPD:
1. Baffling behaviors, such as screaming if their faces get wet, throwing tantrums when you try to get them dressed, having an unusually high or low pain threshold, crashing into walls and even people, and putting inedible things, including rocks and paint, into their mouths
2. Mood swings and tantrums. Place a child at home with a quiet setting and a calm adult, and he may be fine. But when you go out into the grocery store with a ton of visual and auditory stimulation, your child throws wild tantrums – we’re not talking about just fussing, but prolonged, alarmingly intense tantrums that are impossible to stop once they’ve started.
3. Fight or flight. Your child is overwhelmed with sensory overload that he shuts down and wants to escape the situation or become aggressive. It’s a neurological panic response to everyday sensations. The child may run out into the street away from the park because he can’t handle the auditory or visual stimulation.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, think about how SPD can be a possible result of your child’s unusual behavior. Seeking out a professional can not only bring relief to finally know what might be causing your child to act a certain way, but also bring you to a solution. Here at Learn 2 Focus, we offer therapies such as Interactive Metronome and Rhythmic Movements which address sensory processing disorder. We help children to explore their senses and resolve their processing issues, which can help them overcome challenges at home and school.