10 things you need to know about Sensory Processing Difficulties (SPD)
There are so many more things than just ten that you need to know about SPD, but here are ten we feel are really important and some links to more in-depth reading.
- Sensory processing difficulties are a real thing! It may not always be a recognized diagnosis but it is a real thing and the right help and support can make a massive difference. Medics are divided on the issue, but almost all recognize the very real challenges it can create. Whether you get a diagnosis for it or not, those who experience sensory processing difficulties can vouch for the impact it has on their lives. It is a REAL thing.
- We have 8 senses which affect our sensory system, not 5 as we are taught when we are children. The 3 additional senses to the 5 taught at school are; Proprioception, Interoception and Vestibular – learn more here.
- Anyone can have Sensory Processing Difficulties, and although it is more common in autistic people you don’t have to be autistic to have SPD. Equally, you don’t have to have SPD to be autistic.
- Not everyone is a sensory seeker, you can be over or under-sensitive or even a combination of both. Seekers are usually those who as the name suggests seeking a stimulus and avoiders are those that do all they can to body swerve that stimulus. You may be a seeker for one sense and an avoider for another or it may change depending on the environment or situation you are in. Learn more here.
- SPD is not a behavioral issue, it is a result of wrong messages being sent from the senses to the brain which then forms inappropriate or untypical responses.
- It IS a big deal, so acknowledge and understand it. People who don’t understand SPD may view someone as ‘overreacting’ or simply encourage the person with SPD to ‘get on with it’, but for the person experiencing SPD it is very real and can be extremely upsetting. Give time and space to allow those with SPD to share with you how it feels to them.
- There are lots of strategies you can use to help, but first, you need to understand your sensory challenges, then you can find and apply appropriate strategies to enable you to manage and cope better in certain situations. The more you understand your own sensory profile, the more you can help others around you understand it too.
- People with SPD are not unintelligent. Nothing is worse than being treated that way. Social reactions do not equate to intelligence.
- You do not ‘grow out of’ sensory processing difficulties but you can learn to manage your difficulties and put strategies in place to help.
- Our team is always here to help and support along with our amazing online community. You are never alone. Get in touch here .
We hope you found our collection of 10 things you need to know about Sensory Processing Difficulties useful.