The Sensory Spectrum

For SPD Kiddos and Their Parents


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Signs of SPD in Children – from Picky Eating to Temper Tantrums

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects five to ten percent of all children – an average of one child in every classroom.

Imagine having a child who finds hugs unbearable, or a child who throws temper tantrums virtually every time he or she is taken to a restaurant or store, or a child who refuses to eat. These behaviors are daily realities for more than three million children in the United States alone.

October is National Sensory Awareness Month. The Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation wants parents to know the Red Flags of SPD:

  •     Overly sensitive to touch, noises, smells, or movement
  •     Floppy or stiff body, clumsy, poor motor skills or handwriting
  •     Difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping, or toilet training
  •     Frequent or lengthy temper tantrums
  •     Easily distracted, fidgety, withdrawn, or aggressive
  •     Craves movement
  •     Easily overwhelmed

Most children with SPD are just as intelligent as their peers, and many are intellectually gifted. Not all children are affected the same way. One child with SPD may over-respond to sensation, and find clothing and certain foods unbearable. Another might under-respond and show no reaction to pain, while yet another might have coordination problems.

Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, founder of the SPD Foundation, provides parents with background information about SPD and common sense strategies for helping children with sensory issues in her books, “Sensational Kids” and “No Longer A SECRET.” According to Miller, “SPD is not a reflection of bad behavior, and it is not caused by bad parenting. In fact, it’s not ‘bad’ at all. It’s physiologic in nature.”

Treatment for SPD typically involves occupational therapy, which enables children to participate in the normal activities of childhood, such as playing with friends, enjoying school, eating, dressing, and sleeping. Depending on the child’s symptoms, other types of treatment might also be recommended, including feeding programs, listening therapy, speech and language therapy, or the DIR® Floortime model.

Click the following links to purchase the books mentioned:


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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


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Signs of SPD in Children – from Picky Eating to Temper Tantrums

Signs of SPD in Children – from Picky Eating to Temper Tantrums

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects five to ten percent of all children.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects five to ten percent of all children – an average of one child in every classroom.

Imagine having a child who finds hugs unbearable, or a child who throws temper tantrums virtually every time he or she is taken to a restaurant or store, or a child who refuses to eat. These behaviors are daily realities for more than three million children in the United States alone. Continue reading


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Parents Are the Best Advocates for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder

Parents know when their child has a sensory problem, but too often their observations are discounted because they are ‘just the parents.’

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological condition that affects the way the brain receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. SPD affects more than one in twenty children– that’s one child in every classroom. 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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No Longer A SECRET: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory or Motor Challenges

Book: No Longer A SECRET: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory or Motor Challenges

Amazon Description: This invaluable resource by Dr Lucy Jane Miller and Doreit Bialer helps teach cost effective, functional, on the spot tips to use for children with sensory issues at home, at school, or in a community setting.

Any parent, teacher, or therapist can use this book and help a child with sensory or motor issues!

As founder of the first comprehensive Sensory Processing Disorder research program nationwide and author of groundbreaking Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)Dr. Lucy Jane Miller‘s name is synonymous with sensory research, education, and treatment. Continue reading


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SPD Foundation Comments on Newtown Shooter’s Reported Diagnosis of SPD

From an SPD Foundation Press Release:

sensory processing disorder foundation

On February 19, PBS aired an investigative report that stated Adam Lanza, the young man who killed 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut in December, had been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) as a young child.

SPD is a neurological disorder that disrupts the daily lives of children, causing challenges with social participation, self-regulation and self-esteem. Research has shown 5-10 percent of all children have SPD.

Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR, founder and research director of the SPD Foundation, was interviewed by ABC.com to give her response to the investigative report. During this interview Dr. Miller explained SPD and the vital importance of support for the individuals and families impacted by this disorder. See the full story at abcnews.com.

“Although we deplore the reason SPD has now come into the national spotlight, we appreciate the opportunity to explain SPD, and how parents and their children with SPD need the support of the educational and medical communities,” stated Dr. Lucy Jane Miller.

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Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Comments on Adam Lanza and the Newtown Tragedy

Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., founder and research director of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, comments on how the reported symptomsin the shooter, Adam Lanza, are a classic indicator of a form of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

unspeakable -- the anti-psychotic connection :...

unspeakable (2012) (Photo credit: torbakhopper)

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The Decision is Final for DSM-V

Published by the American Psychiatric Associat...

Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-IV-TR provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m disgusted. Not surprised but definitely disgusted. Sensory Processing Disorder was officially excluded from the fifth edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual).

Dr. Lucy Jane Miller of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation wrote a message to members. Click below to read her letter.

Letter from Dr. Lucy Jane Miller