Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SPD Empowered To Connect #2

I am going to take a stab at explaining sensory processing. I always thought if a child has SPD (sensory processing disorder) he doesn't like his hands dirty, tags on his clothing may bother him and he may be a picky eater due to his dislike of different food textures. Braden saw a therapist once a week for about a year for SPD. At the time I was busy and didn't take the time to do any research. When he no longer seemed so sensitive to the world around him his therapist said he no longer needs her help and we discontinued therapy. After our training this past week I learned that there is a lot more than meets the eye to sensory problems. So like usual, I got out my computer and looked what Google had to say. Did I ever get a lot of info!

 TACTILE SYSTEM: is the sense of touch. This sensory system teaches our bodies about the world around us. People who suffer from Tactile dysfunction may have the following problem(s):
-avoid messy things
-shy away from hugging and kissing
-their clothing may bother them, tags, seams etc.
-wind blowing on bare skin
-may dislike wearing shoes or sandles

VESTIBULAR SYSTEM: is the sensory system that responds to accelerated and decelerated movement. It is through this system that we learn about direction and sense where our bodies are in relation to the things around us.
Symptoms of vestibular dysfunction:
-may dislike playground equipment such as swings, slides
-prefer sedentary takes, be slow, appear wimpy
-lose balance easily, be clumsy
-fearful of having their feet off the ground

PROPRIOCEPTIVE SYSTEM: This system is the sensation from muscles and joints. It tells our brain how much the muscles are expanding and contracting and how joints are compressed and stretched.
Propriocetive dysfunction may include:
-poor motor planning
-poor sense of where body is in space
-chews on things; pencils, sleeve cuff
-consistently spills or breaks things
-need to be hugged tightly (or may avoid hugs)
-stomps or slaps feet when walking

   A sensory disorder may involve any one or a combination of all three of these systems.

What causes SPD?
Stressful pregnancy
difficult birth and or prematurity/NICU
early hospitalization

If the birth mother is under extreme stress for long periods of time while pregnant the stress hormones will cross over to her baby. Those hormones alter brain development.
After a baby is born it is placed on it's mother. It gets immediate skin to skin contact which is vital for attachment. If the baby doesn't get that comfort but is whisked away and under goes painful medical procedures he will associate touch with pain. This baby also experiences trauma which in turn affects it's developing brain.

Functions of Sensory Input:
ALERT: attend to new or important stimuli
PROTECT; defend us if a stimuli is to overwhelming
SELECT; filter out nonessential information
ORGANIZE: this is accomplished by the central nervous system and is usually done automatically.

Some of our children were/are hyper alert. They are super aware of what is going on about them. They need to know what is going on in order to protect themselves. These same children don't appear to be able to select what is bombarding their brains and so they either shut down or melt down. As Dean and I were discussing all we learned we had to wonder, is attachment disorder partly a sensory disorder? What do you think?
Children with attachment disorder shrink away from touch. They do it to protect the wall they built around their hearts but could it be, touch hurts, or reminds them of trauma?
They will gorge themselves from lack of food but does their stomach "tell" them when they had enough?
They scream and tantrum but is it in part due to all the external stimuli?

I found the following website to be very informative:

*Some information obtained from Empowered To Connect

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