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  •     Easily distracted, fidgety, withdrawn, or aggressive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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Dyslexia: Early Warning Signs and Solutions for Parents

For Dyslexia Awareness Month, Learn Early Warning Signs of This Learning Disability

Is your young child struggling with reading? Have you noticed any potential “warning signs” that may indicate a learning disability like dyslexia? Research* shows that one in five people in the United States have some sort of learning disability – yet for many children, the problem remains unidentified and undiagnosed far longer than it should. Experts agree that early detection and intervention is extremely beneficial for children who are showing signs of dyslexia or other learning differences. 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

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8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings: Play Hearts, Not Poker

So many people ask questions about how to manage IEP meetings in the United States. Here are some tips from a leader in the industry. Also, be sure to check out his books (links to follow).

study time Continue reading

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When the Brain Can’t Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder

Book: When the Brain Can’t Hear : Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder

Amazon Description: In this landmark book, Dr. Teri James Bellis, one of the world’s leading authorities on auditory processing disorder (APD), explains the nature of this devastating condition and provides insightful case studies that illustrate its effect on the lives of its sufferers.

Millions of Americans struggle silently with APD. For many of them, holding a simple conversation can be next to impossible. As sound travels through an imperfect auditory pathway, words become jumbled, distorted, and unintelligible. As Dr. Bellis notes, the most profound impact of this highly specific impediment to auditory comprehension may be on the young. Facing a severely reduced ability to read, spell, comprehend, and communicate, children with APD are subject to anxiety, academic failure, and a damaged sense of self. Often, they are misdiagnosed.

Discussing the latest and most promising clinical advances and treatment options, and providing a host of proven strategies for coping, Dr. Bellis takes much of the mystery out of APD. If you or anyone you know has difficulty comprehending spoken language, or if your child is struggling in school, this important book may have the answers you need.

For the book, click here.

If you would like to purchase this book, please use the link provided. The cost is the same to you, but The Sensory Spectrum gets a small percentage to allow me to continue offering information about SPD for free. Thanks for your ongoing support!

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I Have a Little Dreidel – an SPD Hanukkah

“We’ll be celebrating the eight nights of Hanukkah with all eight senses – the seven senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing, vestibular and proprioception, plus the latest sense in the world of sensory processing: introception. Here’s how our family will focus on one sense for each night.” – Alysia Butler

What a wonderful and inventive idea to celebrate Hanakkah with your sensory sensation.

I Have a Little Dreidel – an SPD Hanukkah

English: Colorful dreidels for sale in Machne ...

English: Colorful dreidels for sale in Machne Yehuda market, Jerusalem עברית: סביבונים בשוק מחנה יהודה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


More Physical Education in Schools Leads to Better Grades, Study Suggests

Those of us with SPD kids aren’t surprised that more physical outlets create a calmer kid. But it can also lead to better grades, according to this study. How are you fitting in additional physical outlets for your kids either during the day or after school? I’m walking to my son’s school and then we’re walking home together (to much complaining from him — but some weight loss for me 🙂

More Physical Education in Schools Leads to Better Grades, Study Suggests

English: Child Soccer player.

English: Child Soccer player. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Is this the year hotels become more sensory-friendly?

Traveling throughs a complete monkey wrench into the routines our SPD kiddos rely on. But some hotels are finally catching on!

Is this the year hotels become more autism-friendly?