October is National Sensory Processing Awareness Month! For the entire month of October, many teachers, parents, therapists, and caregivers work together to spread awareness of Sensory Processing Disorder. If you’re new to SPD, then now is a great time to become familiar with the subject and learn what you can do to help others with SPD!
What is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Sensory processing is the brain’s ability to process information through the five senses–sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound–as well as the two senses of proprioception (body awareness) and vestibular input (balance). Every human on earth has these senses, and each person has their own preferences and strengths based on these senses. Perhaps you hate the taste of onions, or you’re very good at balancing on a tightrope. Everyone’s experience with sensory processing is different, and we all learn how to manage our unique experiences.
For children with Sensory Processing Disorder, one of these sense may need more or less input than the average requirement. Perhaps the taste and smell of onions is so offensive that it makes a child cry and try to leave the room! This is because it may be over stimulating their senses of smell and taste. And perhaps another child can’t sit still for more than a minute. This may be because they need more input to their vestibular or proprioceptive systems. Those with Sensory Processing Disorder must learn coping skills and self-regulation to make sure that they are getting the right amount of input and stimulation that their bodies need.
Why is Sensory Processing Awareness Important?
Many people of all ages live with Sensory Processing Disorder. However, not many people know about SPD unless they’ve met someone who has it. Making SPD a well-known condition helps to spread an understanding of the disorder. Children with SPD can feel more comfortable knowing that there are other people who understand what they’re experiencing and want to help make things comfortable for them.
How Can I Show Support for Sensory Processing Awareness?
There are lots of ways! The biggest way you can show your support is simply to inform others of what Sensory Processing Disorder is and how it affects the lives of those who live with it. You can read more about Sensory Processing Disorder on our blog!
Another great way to support Sensory Processing Awareness is to donate to The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation. This is the foundation that created Sensory Processing Awareness Month and a world leader in SPD research, education, and advocacy. Go show your support!
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.