October is National Sensory Awareness Month

October is National Sensory Awareness Month

Suzanne Fullerton's picture


     October is National Sensory Awareness Month.  Many people struggle with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). In fact, the rigorous recent research findings indicate that 1 in 5 people have this disorder. For many families, this diagnosis goes undiagnosed or unrecognized due to lack of awareness and acceptance that the diagnosis is real and not just the results of bad parenting or misbehaved children.

     Though research continues to prove that SPD does in fact exist, it is also proving that it is a differential diagnosis from others such as autism and attention deficit hyper activity disorder.

     There are many “boxed” programs that are out in the World Wide Web that are misleading people into thinking that programs can “cure” or make considerable differences in a child with SPD.  I am not here to dispute these programs. Perhaps, they do have some value in isolation. However, I will say that with all the experience I have had, taking into consideration research, and studying with some of the great pioneers in this area, treatment has to be holistic, not compartmental.  Treating SPD has to be done on a cognitive and behavioral level, with family and team members involved. 

     Treatment is not a particular set of rules to follow that never changes. It is not 15 or 20 minutes of a certain type of daily exercise.  It is not a swing or ball pit. It is a not twirling and spinning. It is a lifestyle change in perspective, attitude, and activity.

     Learning how to look at life situations differently and apply sensory strategies that address the neurologic system to help integrate the sensory systems is a key principle.  The whole child or person has to be addressed… in all domains of life… in all environments… in relation to real life activities.

     Please help me to bring about awareness to this disorder that affects many children and adults. This is your opportunity to help bring about awareness.




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