2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 404
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603)-228-STAR(7827)
Fax: (603)-228-7828
Email: info@swingforthestars.com

What is SPD?

SPD stands for Sensory Processing Disorder.

Sensory Processing refers to our ability to take in and interpret information from our senses. These senses include information about touch, movement, smell, taste, vision and hearing. In a typically functioning nervous system, once this information is taken in it is organized into a meaningful response. For most individuals this is an automatic process and happens on a subconscious level.

The following is an example of how sensory processing occurs to produce a functional response:

A parent tells their child to "go get dressed." The child must…
  • Tune into their parent's voice and ignore any other background noise in the environment in order to hear what is being said, process this directions appropriately, and then follow through with the correct response
  • Visually find the clothes that they want to wear amongst all the other clothes in their closet
  • Motor plan and sequencing the steps involved in the process- what clothes need to go on first, next, last, etc
  • Have the ability to sense where their body is in space in order to place arms in the armholes, legs in leg holes, etc, and have an understanding of front and back as well as top and bottom to orient their clothes appropriately to their body
  • Be able to tell through their sense of touch that the clothes are on their body and then be able to acclimate enough to that sense that they aren't so bothered by the touch of those clothes that it distracts them or makes them feel uncomfortable all day
  • Use well coordinated fine motor skills and sense of touch to complete fasteners (buttons, zippers, snaps, etc)
This example gives you some understanding of all the complex interactions of our sensory systems that must occur in order for an individual to follow through with this one daily life task. All of these senses must interpret and organize all incoming sensory information adequately in order for an organized response to occur.

When there are senses that are not interpreting and organizing this information correctly, dysfunction occurs and can present itself in motoric, behavioral or attentional responses. This dysfunction can make even seemingly easy, daily life tasks difficult, frustrating and time consuming for these individuals. This "dysfunction" is referred to as Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD.

Some common signs that your child may be experiencing SPD and may benefit from further evaluation:
  • Difficulty tolerating touch- sensitive to clothing textures, aggressive or emotional if touched unexpectedly, becomes upset with brushing hair or taking a bath
  • Picky eating- child has a very restricted and limited diet, is sensitive to the look taste, texture, temperature or smell of foods
  • Child is in constant motion- has a difficult time sitting still to attend to activities
  • Child appears overly clumsy- falls a lot, bumps into other people or furniture without little awareness of what is around him, seems to be unaware where his body is in space
  • Poor self-esteem, anxious, low frustration tolerance, poor attention
  • Child overreacts to pain or may even seem to have a VERY high threshold for pain
  • Poor organization at home, school or both
  • Child seems to tire easily when compared to similar aged peers
  • Difficulties with school work- poor handwriting, difficulties with creative writing, etc.
For more information refer to the resources section or view our brochure.
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