Sensory Processing Disorder

We learn through our senses:

  • What we see
  • What we hear
  • What we touch
  • What we smell
  • What we experience through movement

Sensory Integration theory is a way of looking at how the brain and the body work together to process sensory stimulation.

Neurosensory Integration is the ability to take in, process, and organize information from our senses so that we can respond appropriately.

Input = Output

“Real World” situations:

  • Vision: Child may see the blackboard but the brain cannot recognize the information. This may make them appear less intelligent or uninterested in work.
  • Hearing: A child studying in a classroom with a loud clock, tapping noises, etc may have difficulty with concentration.
  • Touch: the child may not like messy play: finger paints, clay, etc or may be irritated by tags in their cloths
  • Smell: they may get a headache or excited by smells: cleaning products, perfume, candles, etc. This can also make them susceptible to allergies.
  • Movement: information from the joints, muscles, posture, etc. Hypotonia can be common (a child that cannot climb a rope, monkey bars, etc).  They may also need to be in constant motion to keep themselves “Relaxed”.
  • Vestibular: This is an aspect of the nervous system that acts as the “conductor” for all other systems. It also helps regulate the intensity of these other symptoms so that the body is in homeostasis

Common Causes:

  • Birth trauma: induction, C-Section, Forceps/Vacuum
  • Birth trauma: vaginal birth. Birth is the most traumatic event of your life!
  • Breech position/multiple births
  • Chemical exposure: medications, foods, environment, vaccines
  • Traumas

The Chiropractic Approach

Chiropractors focus on the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system and its relationship to the full expression of health and function of the human body. In our evaluation of the health, taking a more in-depth look at the brain through these senses allows us to hopefully prevent future problems for a child such as (but not limited to) ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s, Learning Disorders, Autism, etc or help a child that has already been diagnosed through a more natural, causal aspect.  Utilizing a sensory questionnaire and proper examination can help determine if there are areas that would benefit from optimization or needs assistance.  It is the chiropractic approach of being proactive versus reactive to make sure that with many small children, they are avoiding “labels” or problems later.

Dr. Leahy’s Note

This area is of personal interest to me. I was a neurosensory child and continue to have some difficulties interacting in public. I spent a lifetime destroying clocks where I would swear the minute hand was scraping at concert level decibels. I still get headaches at mall perfume counters and rarely light a candle in my home.  I couldn’t stand people touching me (weird that I touch people all day) and my family thought that I had autism due to my extreme reactions to being held.  I am still always in motion and talk WAY too fast. I was one of the lucky ones that I was able to “adapt” to many of these issues but many can’t or don’t.  I want to help as many children as possible avoid having problems in school or socially due to improper integration.

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