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Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological condition that affects the sensory system of one in twenty children, though it is more prevalent in people with Autism. The sensory system is part of the nervous system that collects information through the sensory receptors, by reacting with the surrounding environment through vision, smell, touch, sound, taste, movement and balance. The neural pathways transfer the information to the parts of the brain involved in sensory perception.

Sensory integration (sensory processing) is when a person receives or takes in sensory stimuli, interprets the stimuli, processes the stimuli into a response and then adaptively responds to the stimulus. With Sensory Processing Disorder, the brain has trouble receiving and responding to the sensory information, leading to inappropriate responses.

People with Sensory Processing Disorder may experience periods of hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) and hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) to sensory stimulation. Individuals with SPD who are hypersensitive to stimuli may avoid certain experiences such as loud places, whereas people with SPD who are hyposensitive may seek out sensory experiences such as making loud noises.

Sensory Processing Disorder may affect one or more of the seven senses that are routinely taken for granted. Any disturbance to these senses can cause the individual to have problems with being a functioning member of society.

The seven senses are:

 

Auditory System (Sound) – The Auditory System is part of the central nervous system (CNS) that processes sounds through the ear such as language to communicate, or even a fire alarm to warn of danger. When the brain is having troubles with processing sounds, it is referred to as Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). People with Auditory Processing Disorder may have trouble recognising the difference between sounds in words causing learning difficulties in children in a school environment. Individuals with Auditory Processing Disorder who are hypersensitive to sounds may fear or be startled by certain sounds, whereas those who are hyposensitive may not respond to their name being called or appear oblivious to certain sounds.

Visual System (Sight) – The Visual System is part of the nervous system that processes sight and allows us to respond to visual stimuli, such as reading a book. The visual cortex is the part of the brain responsible for the processing of visual perception. When a person has problems processing information through the eyes, such as discriminating foreground from background forms, size, and position in space, they may be diagnosed with Visual Perception Disorder. People with Visual Perception Disorder who are hypersensitive to visual input, may be sensitive to bright lights or avoid eye contact, while those who are hyposensitive may have difficulty differentiating similar letters or figures.

Tactile System (Touch) – The Tactile System is part of the sensory system that includes multiple types of sensations from the body which are touch (touch, pressure, and vibration perception), pain and temperature, and proprioception (muscle tension, joint position, etc.). A person whose tactile sensory input is distorted may experience significant discomfort with even subtle sensations causing extreme irritation or even pain. Individuals with tactile sensory distortion who are hypersensitive to touch may be aggressive with light touch, or avoid group situations through fear of being touched, whereas hyposensitive people may crave touch or need to touch everyone and everything.

Olfactory System (Smell) – The Olfactory System is part of the sensory system that processes our sense of smell and odours. When the Olfactory System is distorted a person’s sense of smell may cause discomfort and is known as Olfactory Dysfunction. Individuals with Olfactory Dysfunction who are hypersensitive to smells often react negatively to smells that do not cause a problem for others, whereas those who are hyposensitive to smells may fail to notice or ignore unpleasant odours.

Gustatory System (Taste) – The Gustatory System is part of the sensory system that processes our sense of taste through surface cells in the mouth, tongue and throat that react to food and beverages. Our sense of taste is derived from a combination of five different taste sensations (salty, bitter, savoury, sweet, and sour) as well as textures, temperatures and odours. When a person experiences sensitivity to taste, they are referred to as having an Oral Input Dysfunction. Individuals with oral input dysfunction who are hypersensitive to taste may be picky eaters and gag with certain textures while avoiding new foods, whereas those who are hyposensitive may lack a sense of taste or chew inedible objects.

Vestibular System (Balance & Movement) – The Vestibular System is part of the sensory system that we require for a sense of balance (equilibrioception) and spatial orientation for coordinating movement with balance. Dysfunctions in the Vestibular System can cause self-stimulation, nausea, anxiety, and academic problems which are referred to as Vestibular Dysfunction. People who have Vestibular Dysfunction, who are hypersensitive to balance and movement may dislike play equipment or lose their balance easily, whereas those who are hyposensitive may struggle to sit still, rock their body and could spin for long periods without getting dizzy.

Proprioceptive system (Body Awareness) – Proprioception is the process by which the body utilises receptors in the muscles to track the position of joints and muscles in the body. It allows individuals to know where their body is in space (body awareness) and the ability to safely manoeuvre around their environment. A person with Proprioceptive Dysfunction may experience sensory seeking behaviours (prefers tight fitting clothes, bear hugs, and may regularly bump into objects) or have difficulty with motor planning (ability to carry out a skilled task from beginning to end, such as picking up a cup), and grading movement (using too much or not enough force to complete a task).

 

As there are many people with Sensory Processing Disorder being affected with multiple processing dysfunctions, it can be difficult to treat. Treatment frequently involves improving the way people with Sensory Processing Disorder may react to a situation and helping them. 

JettProof can help calm the sensory system to allow the individual to have a better quality of life:

  • Provides gentle sensory based compression, to give sensory input, proprioceptive feedback (which organises and regulates the nervous system) and regulates the wearer.

  • Aids in filtering sensory information to improve the ability to listen and learn, as well as helping with body awareness.

  • Made from Calmtex, a high quality, breathable fabric that wicks away the sweat and is cool and comfortable to wear all year round, under clothing, 24/7 and in all climates. 

  • Has special external stitching for a seamless feel and stamped labelling for children and adults with tactile sensitivities.

JettProof has had a very positive effect on the lives of many people living with Sensory Processing Disorder but also Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Apraxia, ADHD and Anxiety. Below are a few of many testimonials received from individuals and carers who are living with or caring for people with Sensory Processing Disorder.

Testimonials

For the past month, our little boy with ASD has barely slept due to anxiety and the need to check where everyone is at all hours of the night. After trialling several different weighted products, we decided to try the JettProof singlets. He has now slept in them two nights in a row and has had two full 11 hour sleeps! Thank you so much for coming up with this fantastic product! Erin B

I can’t rate your JettProof vests highly enough. The difference that they have made to my son
(nearly 5) has been unbelievable. They’ve minimised meltdowns and calmed and centred him in a way that I wouldn’t have believed before trying them.
We started using them about six months ago after his Occupational Therapist recommended them, and everyone in close contact with him has commented on the positive difference they’ve made to his mood and behaviour and self-control.
They’ve gone a long way to making a hard situation better. And for that, I can’t thank you enough.
Jane P

My daughter had an awful morning with her Sensory Processing Disorder today and didn’t make it to school she was so distressed by her clothing/loud noises and mood swings. The JettProof t-shirt and shorts arrived at lunchtime. She put them on with no fuss or re-adjusting. We have had 4 hours of calm, with no sensory problems and it’s the happiest and most relaxed I’ve seen my daughter in months! Thank you so much JettProof! Jacqueline B

Wow. 4 hours after I put on the JettProof singlet, the Calm arrived. I felt really, really relaxed. Grounded. Contained. Steady. Normally I rush out of the house to work and feel anxious, but this time I moved slowly, mindfully, purposefully (and still arrived on time). Thank you, JettProof, for allowing us adults with sensory issues the chance to feel calm. Erin S

Miss 9 has ADHD and SPD and received her first Jettproof singlets and pants 4 days ago. Not only have they allowed her a little more self-regulation but she loves them so much I’ve had to drag them off her to wash them! LOL She is literally wearing them 24 hours round the clock! Thanks Jettproof, we’ll definitely be ordering more soon. Susan R

  • Post author
    Michelle Ebbin