Sensory Processing Disorder

When our son started displaying “unusual” behaviour I just assumed it was Autism (my oldest son has Aspergers Syndrome), and that it was a case of getting it diagnosed (he’s 4 the end of Next April). But now I’ve been told to read this book about Sensory Processing Disorder. I think it was less worrying to think he it was Autism, as now I fear that he has “something” that I know nothing about.


Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is the inability to use information received through the senses in order to function smoothly in daily life.  There are 3 main categories – Sensory Modulation Disorder, Sensory Discrimination Disorder and  Sensory Based Motor Disorder. Sensory Modulation Disorder has 3 subtypes – Sensory Over-Responsivity, Sensory Under-Responsivity and Sensory Seeking. Sensory based Motor Disorder has the subtypes Postural Disorder and Dyspraxia.

The child with SPD may have trouble reading cues from the environment; making learning difficult. A lot of the common problems associated with SPD are similar to those of Autism and ADHD. He does not have ADHD, as children with the condition are known to prefer novel situations, whereas our son, and those with SPD, prefer routine, predictable environments.

I think what flagged up SPD with my son is the way he touches people, even those he hardly knows, but then doesn’t like being touched (only on his terms), likes rough play with his dad, but can wipe off kisses – even if it is him that has decided to give them. I only *think* this as nothing has been said apart from for me to read this certain book on the topic area – after he was stroking the doctors tights on his second meeting with her.


He has trouble regulating his mood – if he is upset he cannot easily calm himself down, and to self-comfort. He performs unevenly sometimes behaving fine and, unpredictably, behaving completely different at other times. He has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, constantly waking at night. Picky with his eating – doesn’t like mixed textures. Doesn’t like it when his clothes get a little bit wet or dirty – and can just strip off – regardless of where he is, or the occasion. He is constantly on the go, with a short attention span. He doesn’t react well to change, can be clingy, has poor communication and low self-esteem.

This post is mainly for me to get my thoughts together on it all. You may feel it’s a bit factual, and clinical. Guess I just can’t get emotional about it because I am so in denial. I feel so angry and confused – and want answers, but yet don’t want them. I just so want to be told he’s “ok”.

Thanks for reading and commenting.