Treating Children For Sensory Processing Disorder

This blog discusses sensory processing disorder, also known as sensory integration disorder, which is a neurological disease that arises when the brain cannot correctly process sensory information. The blog covers the symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment options for SPD. It also includes information on how to prevent SPD in babies and how individuals with SPD can manage their symptoms to lead a more manageable life.

What does it mean to have a problem with sensory processing? Feeling overstimulated?

Sensory processing disorder or sensory integration disorder can impact how well you learn and how well you can live your life.

To learn more about sensory processing issues, read on.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

SPD (sensory processing disorder) is a neurological disease that arises when the brain cannot correctly process sensory information (stimuli). Sensory data includes sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

SPD is more common in children than in adults. Adults may experience symptoms from childhood. There are ways that adults deal with SPD that make it easier for them to hide from other people.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) In Babies

Sensory processing disorder (SPD), also known as sensory integration dysfunction, may cause a baby's "colic.” An individual with SPD experiences the world differently than others.

Babies with SPD are more likely to have-

  • SPD can increase touch sensitivity

  • SPD influences how individuals respond to their surroundings

  • SPD makes feeding difficult

Newborns may have sensory modulation dysfunction, which can cause either less or more responsiveness to sensory stimuli. Sensory integration issues can lead to difficulties with motor planning and bilateral coordination. Kids can have both hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity, resulting in avoidance of sensory input or sensory cravings.

Object Interaction in Newborns and Toddlers Affected by Brain Dysfunction

  • Newborns and toddlers with SPD may have altered interactions with objects due to brain dysfunction.

  • They may not respond appropriately to their surroundings.

  • They can be sensitive to loud noises, bright lights, and crowded situations.

  • New places can also be challenging for them to feed or sleep in.

  • As they grow, their ability to play with toys may diminish.

  • They may avoid toys with texture or noise.

Risk Factors of SPD in Children

  • Exposure to drugs while in the womb

  • Developmental delay or neurological impairment

  • Food sensitivities

  • Lack of stimulation during critical developmental stages or institutionalization

Causes of SPD

  • Not fully understood, but may be genetic or related to birth complications and environmental factors

  • Not caused by ADHD or autism, although people with these conditions often have sensory processing problems

Symptoms of SPD

  • Can affect one or multiple senses

  • Children may be oversensitive or undersensitive to stimuli

  • Symptoms may include fear of using swings, behavior problems, intolerance to bright lights, sensitivity to loud noises, and trouble with varied food textures

Diagnosis of SPD

  • Comprehensive evaluation with standardized tests, clinical observations, and parent reports

  • Assessment of motor skills, language, and cognitive development

  • Occupational therapy and other assessments to identify sensory processing difficulties may be necessary.

Sensory Processing Disorder Treatment

Therapy is the most usual treatment. According to research, early therapy for SPD is crucial. Therapy can help youngsters learn to cope with their issues.

There are various forms of therapy, including:

  1. Sensory Integration Therapy (SIT):

This type of therapy uses regulated fun activities. Your child is exposed to stimuli without getting overwhelmed. They can develop coping methods. This therapy may help these coping mechanisms to become habitual responses to stimuli.

  1. Sensory Diet:

A sensory diet frequently works well with other SPD treatments. It involves designing sensory activities for home or school that will help your child stay focused and organized all day. Like SIT, a sensory diet is personalized to your child's needs. Examples of sensory diet activities include:

  • Using a desk chair bungee cord to allow your child to sit in class and move their legs

  • Taking your child for a 10-minute walk every hour

  • Swinging for ten minutes once a day

  • Playing with fidget toys

  • Using headphones to listen to music while working.

  1. Occupational Therapy:

This therapy may also be needed for other SPD symptoms. It can help with fine motor abilities like handwriting, scissor use, stair climbing, and ball tossing. It can also teach basic skills like dressing and using utensils.

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

This can help you deal with the negative feelings and thoughts that come with SPD. The goal of treatment is to help the child learn to control their state of stimulation. This procedure has the potential to alter neural circuits.

Each therapy approach is tailored to the child's needs and may require a combination of therapies. With treatment, children with SPD can learn to cope with their symptoms and lead a more manageable life.

How to Prevent Sensory Processing Disorder?

  • To prevent SPD in babies, provide them with sensory-rich foods and encourage playtime stimulation.

  • For premature babies, parents can act as incubators and use breast milk for optimal brain development.

  • Taking mercury-free cod liver oil and DHA supplements can also aid in brain development for newborns.

  • Giving probiotics to premature babies can aid in their digestive, immunological, and cognitive development.

  • If there are any symptoms of SPD, individuals should seek professional evaluation right away.

Is a sensory processing disorder challenging for kids?

  • Living with SPD can be challenging, and parents with SPD kids may feel isolated and avoid public places to prevent sensory overload.

  • Parents may also feel the need to defend their child's actions due to the lack of understanding about SPD.

  • Adult individuals with SPD may struggle to leave their homes or participate in daily activities due to sensory overload, which can make going to the store or working difficult.

  • While therapy and age may help improve symptoms, SPD may never completely go away and can be triggered by stress or significant life events.

Can a kid overcome SPD?

  • Sensory processing impairment is becoming more prevalent in children with other disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder.

  • The signs and symptoms of SPD are similar to those of autism and vary in range.

  • Unlike autism, children with SPD can overcome this condition.

Is SPD a genetic disorder?

According to some experts, SPD disease could mean that adults with autism have more SPD kids. But it's important to note that most people with SPD don't have autism.

Can SPD affect a baby's feeding ability?

A: Yes, SPD can impair a baby's feeding ability. Babies with sensory issues may have difficulties with the touch and taste of food, leading to picky eating habits, choking on certain foods, and refusing finger foods.

What is the opinion of Experts on SPD?

  • Debate among therapists whether SPD is a specific condition

  • Some specialists believe it's not a specific condition and is a term for typical child behavior

  • Others believe some kids are overly sensitive

  • SPD is seen by some therapists as a sign of other disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and anxiety

  • Some doctors believe a child can have SPD without having any other problems

  • SPD is not considered a medical disorder, but some children struggle with frequent sensory input.


Children with SPD can exhibit a wide range of behaviors since the condition affects each person differently. If symptoms persist and affect the child's well-being and relationships, professional treatment should be considered.

If you notice unusual behavior in your child, talk to your doctor and they may refer you to an occupational therapist for diagnosis. The therapist will observe your child and ask questions to help with the diagnosis.

Get expert medical advice from our team of experienced pediatricians within 15 minutes or emergency-consultation for your child's health and development. Sign up for Babynama's care plans today to get unlimited access to chat with a pediatrician directly on WhatsApp to get answers to your child's health-related queries and the best possible care. Babynama's aim is to provide fast, reliable, and quality healthcare support to parents. Be a part of Babynama today!