The Sensory Spectrum

For SPD Kiddos and Their Parents


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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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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More Behavior Solutions In and Beyond the Inclusive Classroom

Book: More Behavior Solutions In and Beyond the Inclusive Classroom: A Handy Reference Guide that Explains Behaviors Associated with Autism, Asperger’s, … Processing Disorder, and other Special Needs

Amazon Description: Now more than ever, states are mandating that children with special needs be included in the general education classroom. As a result, all educational professionals, from teachers to administrators, need specific training on how to handle unusual behaviors.

This book builds on the success of the first one by expanding the focus from within the classroom to all areas of the school environment—in the hallways, cafeteria, and auditorium, on the playground, and in therapy sessions during the school day. See a particular behavior? Look it up! 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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The Difference Between Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

With my recent post about Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism (click here), there has been a lot of discussion about what the difference is between Asperger’s and Autism as well. The Autism Society has written up a terrific round-up of the perceived differences between Asperger’s and Autism.

autism awareness ribbon

Asperger’s Syndrome from the Autism Society

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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

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Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism

autism awareness month puzzle ribbon graphicApril is National Autism Awareness Month. Many parents who have children with Sensory Processing Disorder may wonder why we are talking about Autism on a site dedicated to SPD. Studies conducted by the SPD Foundation reveal more than three-quarters of children with autistic spectrum disorders may have sensory integration symptoms. Continue reading