Sensory Processing Disorder
What It Is
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a diagnosis that explains how a person's nervous system receives information. SPD affects all areas of the nervous system: olfactory, visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive and interoceptive. Because of the constant amount of and changes in information received by the nervous system and because activity takes place mainly around the brainstem, those who have been diagnosed with SPD tend to be in a constant primitive state: fighting, fleeing or freezing, when presented with sensory stimuli.
I prefer to refer to sensory processing disorder as sensory processing because I feel that my way of receiving and processing sensory information is because of my brain's unique structure, not because I have a disorder. Please see my blog, "Why I'll No Longer Say 'I Have a Disorder'," for a detailed explanation.
by Sharon Heller, Ph.D.
by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.