My Special Needs Network

A network to share best practices for children with special needs

National Sensory Awareness Month! Why Does My Child Do That?

Research suggests that 1 out of 6 elementary students has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Yet how many people at your school recognize and understand SPD? Common signs Include:

1. Extra-sensitive to touch
2. Sensitivity to sounds
3. Picky eaters
4. Avoidance of sensory stimulation
5. Uncomfortable with movement
6. Bothered in crowded areas
7. Poor gross motor or fine motor skills
8. Difficulty with balance

Learn more at:

Sensory Processing Foundation

Sensory Streets

What are your favorite sites, forums, and resources for learning about sensory processing disorder?

Have you given a (bear) hug to someone with SPD, today? : )

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Comment by Ida Zelaya on October 19, 2010 at 9:47am
Oh, my links to finding OTs trained in diagnosing and treating SPD didn't come through. Let's try this again:

In the US:,83247&_dad=...

In Canada:

I hope it works this time!
Comment by Ida Zelaya on October 19, 2010 at 9:39am
Hi, Sue,
Thank you for sharing some of the signs of SPD with the good folks here, and for the work you do at School Specialty.

According to Dr. Lucy Jane Miller's research, 1 in 20 people have SPD. A recent study showed that 1 in 6 students are tactile defensive, where they are excessively touch-defensive. I think that's where the 1 in 6 statistic came from ... a very high number of children who can't interact with their environment like most other kids can. Heartbreaking.

Thousands upon thousands of children around the world have difficulty with sensations in their environment. Their everyday experiences of learning, playing, eating, sleeping, socializing, and self-care are much more challenging for children with a sensory processing disorder, and can lead to self-esteem issues, depression, frustration and even a decline in health for those with feeding difficulties.

To cut these concerns off at the pass, parents, educators and healthcare practitioners must learn as much as they can about SPD and seek out an evaluation from a pediatric occupational therapist.

With the help of organizations like Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation ( in Denver, CO, and grassroots efforts across the globe, we’re learning more about this hidden disorder, how to identify it, and who can help our children.

To find an OT in the US who's trained in diagnosing and treating SPD, visit . And in Canada, people can visit:

The challenge: Sensory Processing Disorder is a hidden disorder. There’s no cast on a child’s arm, no wheelchair, no leg braces, no distinctive physical attributes that are typical of other disorders. Just BEHAVIOR. And that’s what makes SPD difficult to identify.

Sensory Processing Disorder is also considered 'hidden' because it isn't in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) of the American Psychological Association, the book that provides diagnostic codes for healthcare practitioners use to categorize issues and insurance companies pay claims against. Lucy Jane Miller of SPD Foundation, and her workgroup, are doing their best to prove to the APA that SPD deserves to be listed in the next revision of the DSM. When that happens, thousands of parents can rest easy knowing that they can afford the therapies their sense-ational children need and deserve.

On my website, , I have a page of Free Downloadables filled with info about SPD, and how to identify it. I encourage everyone to visit, and share the info with everyone in their circles.

Thank you for this wonderful forum where we all can learn and share!

Ida Zelaya, CHC
Certified Health Coach
President, sensory street, inc.
Comment by School Specialty Special Needs on October 16, 2010 at 7:53am
Great post, 1 out of 6 is so much higher than most would imagine... wow! For those of you who want to get involved in discussions about SPD, 3 of my favorite discussions on this social network are:

> What Causes SI Dysfunction?

> What Are The Best Videos For Sensory Integration Therapy?

> What Are the Best Videos for Sensory Integration Therapy?

Join these discussions or start your own discussion thread to start learning from eachother on the questions most relevant to you.

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