The Sensory Spectrum

For SPD Kiddos and Their Parents


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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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Signs of Dyslexia Start Before Reading, Study Finds

As I learn more about Dyslexia, I’ve often wondered if this disorder is connected to Sensory Processing Disorder. My son just entered kindergarten, so will this be a problem for him. A recent study did find that Dyslexia has less to do with language/speech and more about how the brain processes the symbols and input it receives. (Sounding a bit familiar?)

Signs of Dyslexia Start Before Reading, Study Finds