Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is characterised by difficulty in organising and responding to the information that comes from our senses. SDP can impact your child’s behaviour in many ways. They may face difficulties in achieving their full academic potential, find social interactions difficult and find family activities such going to the cinema, funfairs, restaurant distressing.
Children with SPD may also report auditory sensitivity. Auditory sensitivity can be categorised into hyperacusis and misophonia. Occupational therapists often use the term ‘over-responsivity to noise’ or auditory defensiveness to describe this sensory challenge. There are many children with ASD and ADHD diagnosis who have misophonia or hyperacusis. Majority of children with ASD and ADHD also have sensory processing disorders.
Parents may get worried that if their child has hyperacusis or misophonia, they may also have a broader sensory processing disorder. Although this is not the case for everyone, many children who are hypersensitive to a particular stimuli such as loud noise may also want to avoid crowds because of unexpected touches, too much visual stimuli or dislike of specific smell or too much movement in an environment. This may indicate the possibility of a sensory processing disorder.
It is not always easy to distinguish hypersensitivity from actual sensory processing disorders. However, knowing the signs of sensory processing difficulties will help you to see the difference. Common signs of sensory processing disorder comprise:
A recent study shows that early intervention will help the child to recognise their sensory issues and learn how to regulate their sensory needs, using sensory strategies. The hypersensitivity may become a significant barrier to normal life. This significantly impacts on child’s social participation and productivity such as focusing and concentrating on any activity at school or home. It is important to consider comprehensive assessment so you can get to the root of the issues.
Sherry is our paediatric occupational therapist with over 20 years of experience in working with children with sensory and emotional difficulties in the NHS, private services and schools in London and Surrey. In our clinic we can provide individual programme for children with diagnosis of ASD and ADHD who have hyperacusis and misophonia. We are passionate about intervention for primary school age children who finds participation and engagement at school activities difficult. This range from concentrating, managing sensory stimulation in classroom or difficulties to manage their emotional regulation.
Sherry can visit your child at school or home environment to stablish the area of concern and provide individualised sensory strategies to help your child to regulate their sensory needs through specific techniques.
Sherry is a highly specialist paediatric occupational therapist based in Guildford. Sherry qualified as an occupational therapist in 2001 and obtained her MSc of occupational therapist in 2009. She has worked as Occupational therapist in NHS, school settings and social services in the last 20 years in the field of paediatric.
She has worked with children with sensory and emotional difficulties. This includes working with children in early years and mainstream schools with units for children with Autism, ADHD, Developmental Co-ordination Disorder, but also but also supports children with more complex needs relating to cerebral palsy, and acquired brain injury.
Sherry has completed postgraduate training in sensory integration (level 1) and relevant training to manage challenging behaviour in children with sensory processing difficulties.
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