Sensory processing is the way in which we take in and receive messages from the sensory systems (touch, auditory, visual, balance), and how the nervous system then turns them into motor and behavioral responses.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) occurs when the nervous system is unable to organize the appropriate responses to the incoming sensory information. A. Jean Ayers, PhD, a pioneer in sensory processing described this as a ‘neurological traffic jam’ and that this traffic jam prevents certain areas of the brain from receiving necessary information. As a result, everyday activities can be extremely challenging. Behavioral challenges, anxiety, depression, low self-confidence can all be a result of ineffective sensory processing. Unfortunately, sensory processing disorder is often misdiagnosed as health care professionals are not well trained to recognize the effects of an efficient nervous system.

Most children with SPD are cognitively on par with their peers, but their brains are just wired in a different way. They need to learn different ways to engage and learn within their environments. One way in which SPD is treated is within a sensory rich environment set up to provide them with the sensory input that they seek and to foster appropriate responses to sensation. As a result, children can engage in their chosen activities, learning environments, and relationships.

Additional information and current research on SPD can be found at SPD Foundation