Does a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Look different in Adults versus Children

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One of the myths surrounding a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is that it’s just a phase and kids will grow out of it. It is possible for a child to find their own positive coping mechanism, allowing the symptoms to subside or become manageable, but the chances of that are slim. If SPD doesn’t just go away with time, I think it’s safe to assume that we have a fair few adults out there suffering with these symptoms.

Does a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Look different in Adults versus Children | ilslearningcorner.com

The word about SPD is just starting to get out there. Children with sensory disorders are beginning to get proper diagnoses and proper intervention, but there are two major reasons it’s important to get the word out about adult with SPD. Reason one is that the adults with SPD need the chance at proper diagnoses and intervention. Reason two is to help dispel the myth that these SPD kids are just going to grow out of it.

How to recognize the signs

Here’s a look at adult SPD and how it compares to SPD in children.

Does a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Look different in Adults versus Children | ilslearningcorner.com

 

Children

Adults

What SPD looks like
  • Resistance or sensitivity to textures in items like food, clothing, or paper.
  • Frustration with busy, noisy classrooms or parties.
  • Sensitive to smells. Often points out something smells bad when no one else can smell anything.
  • Behavioral outbursts and meltdowns.
  • Poor motor skills and low muscle tone.
  • Sensory seeking behavior which consists of bumping into furniture or walls, high pain tolerance to hot and cold or extreme roughhousing and screaming.
  • Can’t perform daily tasks due to distraction or processing delays.
  • May only affect one sense, like hearing or touch, or multiple senses.
  • Bothered by clothes. Often wears loose or more comfortable clothing.
  • Either dislikes touching or struggles to respect others personal boundaries.
  • “Still” a picky eater.
  • Dislikes loud crowded environments.
  • Overreacts to sudden loud noises like vacuums and sirens.
  • Clumsy
  • May avoid sensory stimulation or over-actively seek it, depending on the form of SPD.
  • Short-tempered
  • Can’t perform daily tasks due to distraction or processing delays.
  • May only affect one sense, like hearing or touch, or multiple senses.
How SPD disrupts life
  • Has behavioral issues in the classroom and disrupts other students.
  • Children with SPD could be considered “daydreamers.”
  • Tantrums, outbursts, and meltdowns create chaos and frustration.
  • Struggles in the workplace with busy workspaces or loud coworkers.
  • Difficulty with situations that require business attire.
  • Often considered anti-social.
  • Considered high strung
  • Uses avoidance to manage stress caused by overstimulation
What it’s often mistaken for
  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Poor behavior
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anti-social personality

source;http://ilslearningcorner.com/

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