Sunday, March 28, 2010
Most people do not know what Sensory Processing disorder is, let alone have even HEARD of it. I know I hadn’t, until my daughters OT casually mentioned it one day. I started to research it, I found that it fit her so well and that there are different treatments and therapies that can help her.
One of the problems with Sensory Processing disorder is that, again, it’s unknown. Children have been getting “diagnosed” since the 1970’s but there is not enough adequate research to give a FORMAL diagnosis. With more children having Sensory Processing difficulties and not fitting the “ADHD” or ”Autism” label, there has been slightly more information out there.
According to a TIME magazine article, which they interviewed members of the STAR center (a center that offers therapy for children with SPD), “SPD is not listed in medical texts or in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), the bible of psychiatric disorders. Doctors acknowledge sensory issues as a common feature of autism and a frequent feature of ADHD but not as a stand-alone disorder.” With the official medical diagnoses going undefined it leaves parents, children, doctors and therapist with little to do. There is power in a official medical diagnoses, if children get the official diagnoses “SPD added to the next edition of the DSM, the fifth, due out in 2012. Earning a spot in the DSM V would make it easier for researchers to win grants, kids to get accommodations at school and families to be reimbursed for a course of treatment.” If SPD gets added to the DSM, there is more funding for research and thus a better understanding of what is going on in my daughter’s magnificent little brain. However, one of the biggest issues is that if SPD does get a validation, SPD could have a shot at being included in the DSM VI--due out somewhere around 2025. Presley would be: 19, a staggering thought.
That’s why it important for all of us to have a better understanding of Sensory Processing disorder. It’s important for parents/teachers/therapists to get the word out and spread information.
DSM- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Wallis, C (2007). The next attention deficit disorder? Time Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1689216,00.html