Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which people experience intense emotional, mental, or physical pain or stress as a result of sensory overload. sensory processing disorder often includes aversions or strong reactions to various sights and sounds related to each of the five senses:
- wool or wool blends
- irregular or raised tissues
- t-shirt labels touching the neck
- t-shirt labels touching the side
- belt buckles
- Clinking dishes
- moving pots and pans
- screeching brakes
- school buses
- worship services
7 Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder
People with sensory processing disorder may show signs of being overwhelmed when they come into contact with various “triggers.” Some triggers are common among many people with the disorder, while others are unique and not necessarily experienced by every individual. The most common signs and symptoms of sensory processing disorder include:
sensitivity to certain textures
People with sensory processing disorder may have strong dislikes or interests in certain textures. While many people with sensory processing disorder prefer soft, smooth textures and textures, others can be overwhelming, irritating, or painful, such as:
While wool sweaters and other clothing may cause a slight itch for the average person, the triggering textures can be debilitating for someone with a sensory processing disorder. children with sensory processing disorder may exhibit outbursts when wearing clothing that is a trigger, while adults may seek out particular fabrics to avoid contact with abrasive materials.
sensitivity to clothing labels and buttons
One of the most unique indicators of Sensory Processing Disorder is a strong aversion to clothing labels, buttons, buckles, and fasteners. this includes:
While labels and buttons on clothing may not be something many of us consider, people with a sensory processing disorder may have trouble concentrating or may even feel physical pain or irritation as a result. many people with sensory processing disorder opt for tagless shirts or choose to remove tags from clothing.
sensitivity to noise and loud sounds
While nails on a whiteboard can be irritating to most people, there are noises that may not bother others that are overwhelmingly difficult for people with sensory processing disorders to find. unexpected loud noises or metal screeching can cause anxiety, irritation and stress. this includes noises like:
People with sensory processing disorder also commonly cite dental cleanings as a difficult experience due to the sound of dental tools scraping their teeth. In addition to various types of noise, the level or loudness of the noise is also a concern for people with sensory processing disorder. it may be difficult to hear loud radios and televisions at levels that might be considered normal to others.
sensitivity to bright and strobe lights
Many people with sensory processing disorder have difficulty processing bright lights or lights that repeatedly flicker or change color. While bright lights and strobe lights don’t cause seizures in people with sensory processing disorders the way they do in people with epilepsy, they can still be extremely uncomfortable. As a result, people with sensory processing disorder tend to avoid concerts, haunted houses, and other events with bright lights.
intense need for personal space and boundaries
Because people with sensory processing disorder are sensitive to touch, they may not respond well to physical contact. People with sensory processing disorder also tend to feel anxiety about being in large crowds or in situations where people are sitting or standing in close proximity to each other, such as:
Because of their desire to maintain a boundary between themselves and others, people with sensory processing disorder may be unwilling to engage in hugs, handshakes, and other types of physical contact.
aversion to thrill-seeking activities
for many people, halloween costumes, haunted houses, corn mazes, horror movies. and roller coasters produce an adrenaline rush that feels exhilarating, but for people with sensory processing disorder, they can trigger intense feelings of fear, anxiety, hopelessness, and danger. many people with sensory processing disorder choose not to watch scary movies, visit amusement parks, or participate in other activities that might be considered exciting.
unique food preferences
Food aversions are common in children and adults with sensory processing disorders, but don’t mistake your toddler’s aversion to broccoli as a sign. While many people have an aversion to certain types of food or certain textures, people with sensory processing disorder may have difficulty eating various flavors, textures, and flavors without feeling overwhelmed or craving. For people with sensory processing disorder, food aversions can be so strong that the smell of a certain type of food or the texture of a similar food can cause nausea or vomiting.
what causes sensory processing disorder?
The exact cause of sensory processing disorder is unknown, but studies have indicated that people with sensory processing disorder have unique brain responses to various stimuli, which could indicate an inability to process taste, touch, sound and other senses normally. We know that sensory processing disorder is often linked to people with special needs such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and other conditions. There is also evidence to suggest that sensory processing disorder is related to childhood abuse, particularly sexual or physical abuse.
when does sensory processing disorder begin?
Most people with sensory processing disorder show signs of sensory overload and burnout at an early age. Many toddlers and children with sensory processing disorder tend to respond negatively to clothing tags, unexpected touch, loud noises, and bright lights. due to their inability to process information in the same way as others, people with sensory processing disorder may have unexpected outbursts, tantrums, or screams, or may withdraw from others and be incredibly introverted in order to avoid people and triggers .
Does my child have a sensory processing disorder?
However, tantrums are not the only sign of sensory processing disorder, and it is important to note that children with sensory processing disorder tend to be highly intelligent and functional individuals with strong reactions to various experiences, or they may have developmental disorders. As a result, many parents of infants and children with sensory processing disorder suspect that their child is highly sensitive or has a sensory processing disorder due to the nature of the condition.
Can sensory processing disorder be cured?
Because the exact cause of sensory processing disorder is unknown, there is no cure. It is recommended that people with sensory processing disorder and parents of children and adolescents with sensory processing disorder strive to avoid triggers that can cause emotional upset or extreme anxiety.
what can you do to help someone with sensory processing disorder?
If you have a loved one with a sensory processing disorder, there are a few ways you can support them:
understand that it is not a choice
Although the exact cause of sensory processing disorder is unknown, we have enough evidence to suggest that the brains of people with the disorder function differently. Understanding that your loved one is not choosing to have aversions or reactions to various sights, sounds, textures, and tastes is not gaining attention or sympathy, rather it is a very real condition that must be respected.
Many children and adults with sensory processing disorder have an aversion to touch, so they may be unwilling to hug, shake hands, or engage in other forms of physical contact that others consider friendly gestures. Also keep in mind that bright lights and noises can affect people with sensory processing disorders and they may not be able to cope with situations with loud noises and flashing lights. It is also recommended to learn their triggers and avoid behaviors or actions that may be overwhelming or harmful to them.
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