Why children develop SPDs is not clearly understood. The brain functions in these children may be different, and there may be a hereditary component to SPDs. Prenatal environment, including an exposure to alcohol stress hormones, may also increase the risk of SPDs.
Certainly early infanthood experiences may be related to SPDs. Babies who have difficulty with sleep and feeding patterns and are unable to calm themselves are more like to have sensory processing problems as toddlers .
Children living in an underprivileged environment, such as orphanages, are also at an increased risk of SPDs. Parents of Romanian orphans reported that 18 % of their children were hypersensitive to stimuli and another 11 % inappropriately under-responded to stimuli. Studies found that children who spent the first 12 months to 24 years in an orphanage had more problem behaviors and were the most likely to have sensory processing problems. Even when the children’s physical needs are met in an orphanage, including good medical care and proper nutrition, the lack of consistent care and stimulation can lead to sensorimotordelays. Continue reading
This is a Part I in a three part series on sensory processing disorders. On Wednesday, I will address why children develop these disorders and on Friday, you, as a parent, can learn more about what you can do for your child.
Many children adopted internationally have what are known as Sensory Processing Disorders (SPDs). These children have problems processing and appropriately responding to stimuli, such as touch and noise. The SPDs can affect children’s behavior and emotions and may impact their ability to learn and socially function. SPDs are found in 5-10% of non-disabled children and in 40 to 88 % of children with disabilities. It is also more prevalent in children with ADHD.
There are different types of SPDs. Some children overreact to stimuli that most others do not find annoying. These are the kids who cannot stand tags in their clothes or being lightly touched; others may have a “melt-down” if their nails are trimmed or their teeth brushed. If the children have auditory processing problems, they may over react to the vacuum cleaner or other “normal” noises. Others with auditory processing problems can hear just fine but can have difficulty understanding what is being said. These are children who are told, “You are not paying attention.” Continue reading