The Sensory Spectrum

For SPD Kiddos and Their Parents


Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Reacts to Breakthrough Study

In reaction to the breakthrough study revealing a biological basis for Sensory Processing Disorder in children, Dr. Lucy Jane Miller of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation released the following statement. To read about the study, click here.

SPD affects 5% to 16% of children in the general population. That is more than 1 child in every classroom. Typically these children are misdiagnosed with ADHD or autism, or they are not diagnosed at all…Instead an assumption is made that the child has ‘bad’ behavior. Sadly, parents are accused of not disciplining their children appropriately or not providing enough structure for their children. Researchers at the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation have been studying SPD for over 30 years and supports continued research of SPD. The Foundation organized a multi-disciplinary team of experts called the SPD Scientific Workgroup that includes 50 physicians and scientists from research institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Duke and many other universities. These researchers have provided physiological, neurological, psychological, etiological, familial and other data about SPD. Continue reading



Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids

Sensory processing disorders (SPD) are more prevalent in children than autism and as common as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yet the condition receives far less attention partly because it’s never been recognized as a distinct disease.

In a groundbreaking new study from UC San Francisco, researchers have found that children affected with SPD have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other neurodevelopmental disorders.

One of the reasons SPD has been overlooked until now is that it often occurs in children who also have ADHD or autism, and the disorders have not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

“Until now, SPD hasn’t had a known biological underpinning,” said senior author Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, a professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and bioengineering at UCSF. “Our findings point the way to establishing a biological basis for the disease that can be easily measured and used as a diagnostic tool,” Mukherjee said.

(The image above shows areas of the brain that can be affected by sensory processing disorders. Using an advanced form of MRI, researchers at UCSF have identified abnormalities in the brain structure of children with SPD primarily in the back of the brain.) Continue reading

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How To Detect Communication Disorders In Children

Better Hearing and Speech Month: Parents should seek early intervention for children with communication disorders

Although more than 5 million children in the United States have a speech, language and hearing disorder, parents are often uninformed and unsure about what to do when they suspect their child might be delayed.

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Study Shows Early Sound Recognition Contributes to Good Spelling Abilities in Children

Learning to spell is not just about knowing how to read the words but also knowing how to recognize each word as it is heard. eReflect, makers of Ultimate Spelling, found a British study that pursues this theory by determining the relationship of early sound recognition with a child’s spelling ability. So for those of us with SPD kiddos, how does their sensory challenges affect their ability to hear words properly? Continue reading

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New Survey Shows Concern among Mental Health Professionals About New DSM-5 Guidelines

The Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy, in collaboration with online education provider, have released a new white paper on attitudes, perceptions and concerns about the upcoming publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in May 2013. It shows that six out of ten clinicians expect significant impact to clinical practice from DSM-5.

Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy and release new survey entitled Clinician Perspective on DSM-5
Ultimately, this manual and the way in which clinicians apply its guidance impacts every patient treated by the mental health community. It’s a significant development for all clinicians. Continue reading

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Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR Announced New Standardized Functional Assessment for School-Age Children at AOTA

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation’s founder, Dr. Lucy Jane Miller announced a new evaluation, Goal-Oriented Assessment of LifeSkills (GOAL) at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) national conference.

Dr. Lucy Jane Miller’s new evaluation, Goal-Oriented Assessment of LifeSkills (GOAL) launched recently at theAmerican Occupation Therapy Association’s (AOTA) national conference and expo in San Diego, California according to the Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation, the world leader in research, education and advocacy of SPD. Continue reading

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Temple Grandin to Appear on “Autism Live” May 7

Temple Grandin, an award-winning author and speaker with autism, will appear on the web show Autism Live, Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

Temple Grandin, considered one of the most popular and accomplished adults living with autism, will return to Autism Live Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at 10:00 am (PDT). Grandin will join host Shannon Penrod on the widely popular web show and answer viewers’ questions concerning all things related to autism. Continue reading

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The Risk of Autism Is Not Increased by “Too Many Vaccines Too Soon”

Vaccines research at the NVGH

Vaccines research at the NVGH (Photo credit: Novartis AG)

A new government study should make parents more at ease. In a U.S. government study, researchers concluded there is no association between receiving “too many vaccines too soon” and autism. It also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response than vaccines in previous decades.

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Support National Plan to Address Autism

Some people who read The Jenny Evolution know that my boys have Sensory Processing Disorder. But did you know that many children with Autism also have Sensory Processing Disorder?

This month is Autism Awareness Month. Experts believe approximately 80% of autistics also have sensory issues. In honor of those children and adults, I am asking you to sign a very simple petition. Continue reading

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Holly Robinson Peete: Autism, Meet Adolescence

English: Logo of World Autism Awareness Day, A...

Logo of World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, by United Nations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holly Robinson Peete has been an outspoken advocate for children with Autism. And while she focuses on Autism and adolescence, I can’t help but wonder how our kids with SPD are facing adolescence. Continue reading