Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty
Visit The Shop

Get started Here!

1. Register for a Free Account

2. Login and Shop for Courses, Symposium, or Webinars

3. Purchase your products in your cart

4. After you purchase go to My Purchases and begin your Courses

Account Login

Forgot Password or Username?
Register Now!

Register for Courses

online_courses2 symposia2
Having trouble registering?
click here for instructions

Meet our founder

Only One Week Left

One Week Left to Register for 

Two Live Broadcasts 

 

All STAR Lecture 7

SPD and Summer Fun

 

April 29, 2014 – Live Broadcast*  

8:30 PM-10:00 PM (ET) 6:30 PM-8:00 PM (MT)

*Limited availability seating at STAR Center. Contact Jodi at 303-865-7648 or  Jodi@spdfoundation.net.

 

Most kids can’t wait for the summer break to be free of the school schedule and homework, but for kids with SPD transitioning to the summer schedule and different routines can be a troublesome time. Learn some easy strategies to help with these transitions as well as some great summer fun activities especially for sensory kids.

 

Details and registration here

Assessing Clinical Co-morbiditiesWebinar Assessment WA304

 

April 30, 2014 – Live Broadcast

12:00 PM-2:00 PM (ET) 10:00 AM-12:00 PM (MT)

 

Review how co-morbid clinical conditions,such as autism or anxiety, might affect thepresentation and treatment of SPD as well as assist in differential diagnosis. Understand the theory behind clinical co-morbidities and its use for clinicians and researchers in screening for various clinical conditions. Learn about free-to-use and public domain scales for assessments, with an emphasis on autism, ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

 

Includes a videotape analysis and panel discussion of treatment of several cases of children with co-morbid conditions. The focus will be on how different diagnoses impact function and therapeutic implications. The panel will consist of Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR and Sarah Schoen, PhD, OTR.

 

Details and registration here

 

Can’t attend live? All webinars are recorded and available for 24/7 access.

     

SPD & Summer Fun

Register Today for Our New Webinars

 

All STAR Lecture 7

SPD and Summer Fun

 

April 29, 2014 – Live Broadcast*  

8:30 PM-10:00 PM (ET) 6:30 PM-8:00 PM (MT)

*Limited availability seating at STAR Center. Contact Jodi at 303-865-7648 or Jodi@spdfoundation.net.

 

Most kids can’t wait for the summer break to be free of the school schedule and homework, but for kids with SPD transitioning to the summer schedule and different routines can be a troublesome time. Learn some easy strategies to help with these transitions as well as some great summer fun activities especially for sensory kids.

 

Details and registration here

NEW Assessment Webinar

 

Assessing Clinical Co-morbidities

Webinar Assessment WA304

 

April 30, 2014 – Live Broadcast

12:00 PM-2:00 PM (ET) 10:00 AM-12:00 PM (MT)

 

Review how co-morbid clinical conditions,such as autism or anxiety, might affect thepresentation and treatment of SPD as well as assist in differential diagnosis. Understand the theory behind clinical co-morbidities and its use for clinicians and researchers in screening for various clinical conditions. Learn about free-to-use and public domain scales for assessments, with an emphasis on autism, ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

 

Includes a videotape analysis and panel discussion of treatment of several cases of children with co-morbid conditions. The focus will be on how different diagnoses impact function and therapeutic implications. The panel will consist of Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR and Sarah Schoen, PhD, OTR.

 

Details and registration here

 

Can’t attend live? All webinars are recorded and available for 24/7 access.

Autism Is Becoming More Common Among U.S. Kids

Autism is Becoming More Common Among U.S. Kids

autismawarenessAccording to researchers, autism starts with disrupted genes that somehow interfere with brain development. Read the story on the NBC News website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. What wasn’t mentioned was that most of these children have SPD– at least 80% in fact.

SPD affects 1 in 20 children, which is approximately one child in every classroom. Early intervention is critical so that treatment can be started when children have the greatest potential for success. Help spread the word during April Autism Month that children with autism can benefit from sensory-based intervention.

Junior Champion of Hope and More from the SPD Foundation and STAR Center

Junior Champion of Hope 

The Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation is excited to announce a new program to annually recognize a young person who will be an advocate for Sensory Processing Disorder awareness and will share experiences to help other children with SPD know they are not alone.

 

At our recent Banquet of Champions awards ceremony and fundraiser we honored our very first Junior Champion of Hope, an award given to an individual who exhibits joy and enthusiasm in the face of many personal challenges. The recipient of the award will be an ambassador for generating awareness about SPD and will help the SPD Foundation during the coming year.

 

Introducing Jack

 

Jack, our first Junior Champion of Hope, is an adorable six-year-old boy with SPD. When Jack first arrived at the STAR Center he had motor planning difficulties and a hard time playing with his peers. In spite of his challenges, he was so joyful and enthusiastic that he was an inspiration to everyone who met him. He melted our hearts.

Upon receiving the award, Jackgraciously bowed and the room erupted in applause. He was so thrilled that he didn’t want to set his trophy down for the rest of the evening.

Children like Jack motivate the STAR Center and SPD Foundation to press on with cutting-edge research into causes and effective treatments for SPD. Jack has been an inspiration in how he is working to overcome and cope with SPD on a daily level.

We are grateful to Jack and his parents for sharing their story in order to give hope to others. We will provide interesting stories about Jack throughout the coming year. Look for Jack’s Link in future editions of e-News.

 

Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and Katy Miller, recipient of the Founder’s Award

Other award recipients includedLandscape Structures, Inc. andKahnConstruction for their generosity in making the World’s Best Sensory Playground a reality. Katy Miller was presented a surprise Founder’s Award for her dedication to the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation’s Board of Directors, having served for over 30 years and the past 7 years as the Foundation’s president.

Autism is Becoming More Common Among U.S. KidsAccording to researchers, autism starts with disrupted genes that somehow interfere with brain development. Read the story on the NBC News website. TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. What wasn’t mentioned was that most of these children have SPD– at least 80% in fact.

 

SPD affects 1 in 20 children, which is approximately one child in every classroom. Early intervention is critical so that treatment can be started when children have the greatest potential for success. Help spread the word during April Autism Month that children with autism can benefit from sensory-based intervention.

Summer is Fast Approaching… Hurry to Reserve Your Spot!Summer is the busiest time of year at the STAR Center and time slots for therapy appointments are filling up fast. According to Karin Buitendag, Director of Occupational Therapy, “Every summer, families flock to see us and we love seeing familiar faces and meeting new people. Whether you are thinking about a booster or know of someone thinking about calling us, please get in touch with us soon if you are interested in summer availability.” For more information, please call Andrea Stoker, Assistant Director, at 303-221-7827.

UPCOMING EVENTS 

Tournament of Hope

Monday, June 9, 2014

Charity Golf Tournament at the beautiful Club at Pradera Golf Course. In Parker, Colorado

Find out more>>

 

Playground Rock ‘n’ Reunion

Save the Date!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, 2014 11:00AM TO 2:00PM

Lots of fun activities for the entire family.

More information coming soon.

Membership Benefits You Can’t Pass Up

 

The SPD Foundation membership benefits are better than ever before!

  1. A coupon for FlagHouse merchandise for the same value as your membership! Find hundreds of great toys, games, and equipment for those with SPD or other special needs.
  2. Free archived All-STAR webinar series – a value of $105
  3. Tax deductible
  4. 10% discount on all online training programs
  5. And more…

A Library Trip

BookCover150I saw them. The young mother and her three children leaving the library. I had stopped there one morning by myself to drop off our huge load of books (my children are big readers). It is our small local branch, but really quite cozy inside. It is our favorite one to go to. This mom was holding a child and her older two were walking beside her. The two older children had their little backpacks on and were weighted down with their haul from the library. They looked so cute and quite content. I took a look at the mom’s eyes and she looked happy and peaceful….

That scene made me think of so much….some of my thoughts went a along these lines:

 Read full article…

[source: http://www.michelegianetti.com/]

Did you know that there are eight sensory systems?

Definition of SPD

Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into responses. For those with Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory information goes into the brain but does not get organized into appropriate responses. Those with SPD perceive and/or respond to sensory information differently than most other people. Unlike people who have impaired sight or hearing, those with Sensory Processing Disorder do detect the sensory information; however, the sensory information gets “mixed up” in their brain and therefore the responses are inappropriate in the context in which they find themselves.

Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD (originally called Sensory Integration Dysfunction) is a neurological disorder in which the sensory information that the individual perceives results in abnormal responses.  A more formal definition is: SPD is a neurophysiologic condition in which sensory input either from the environment or from one’s body is poorly detected, modulated, or interpreted and/or to which atypical responses are observed. Pioneering occupational therapist, psychologist, and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.

The Eight Sensory Systems.

There are eight sensory systems:

Pioneering occupational therapist, psychologist, and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly.
Back to top

Prevalence of SPD: How often does it occur?

Sensory Processing Disorder can affect anyone. Studies indicate that 5% to 16% of children exhibit symptoms of SPD.

(Ahn, Miller et. al., 2004; Ben-Sasoon, Carter et. al., 2009)
Back to top
 

Causes of SPD.

The exact cause of Sensory Processing Disorder has not yet been identified. Preliminary studies and research suggest that SPD is often inherited. Prenatal and birth complications have also been implicated as causal in SPD, as well as certain environmental factors.  A summary of research into the causes and prevalence of SPD is included in Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children With Sensory Processing Disorder (2005)written by Founder and current Executive Director of the SPD Foundation, Lucy Jane Miller Ph.D., OTR
Back to top

Subtypes of SPD, Red Flags, and Symptoms of each Subtype

Pattern 1: Sensory Modulation Disorder

Pattern 2: Sensory-Based Motor Disorder

Pattern 3: Sensory Discrimination Disorder

SDD may occur in each sensory system: Visual, Auditory, Tactile, Smell, Taste, Vestibular, Proprioception, Interoception

The symptoms of SPD vary greatly depending upon the sense that is affected, how that sense is affected, and the severity of the condition.

People with SPD misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound, and movement. They may feel bombarded by information, they may seek out intense sensory experiences, or they may be unaware of sensations that others feel. They may also have sensory-motor symptoms such as a weak body, clumsiness or awkwardness or delayed motor skills.

If a person has SPD often the symptoms result in emotional, behavioral, social, attentional, or motoric problems.

Our current knowledge suggests that there are six subtypes of SPD. Almost all individuals with SPD [delete: and many people] have a combination of symptoms from more than one subtype. The chart below shows the three major patterns and the six subtypes of SPD.

Summary of Sensory Processing Disorder Subtypes

Primary Pattern Subtype Description
Sensory Modulation Disorder Difficulty regulating responses to sensory stimuli
  Sensory Over-Responsive Predisposition to respond too much, too soon, or for too long to sensory stimuli most people find quite tolerable
  Sensory Under-Responsive Predisposition to be unaware of sensory stimuli, to have a delay before responding, responses are muted or responds with less intensity compared to the average person
Sensory Craving Driven to obtain sensory stimulation, but getting  the stimulation results in disorganization; and does not satisfy the drive for more
Sensory-Based Motor Disorder Difficulty with balance, motor coordination, and the performance of skilled, non-habitual and/or habitual motor tasks
  Postural Disorder poor perception of position of body position; poorly developed movement patterns that depend on core stability. Thus, appears weak and/or has poor endurance
  Dyspraxia Difficulty thinking of, planning and/or executing skilled movements  especially novel movement patterns
Sensory Discrimination Disorder Difficulty interpreting subtle qualities of objects, places, people or other environments
  Auditory DD Difficulty interpreting characteristics of sensory stimuli that is heard
Visual DD Difficulty determining/interpreting characteristics of sensory stimuli that is seen
Tactile DD Difficulty determining/interpreting characteristics of sensory stimuli that is felt on the skin
Vestibular DD Difficulty interpreting characteristics of sensory stimuli, experienced through movement of the body through space or against gravity
Proprioceptive DD Difficulty determining/interpreting characteristics of sensory stimuli experienced through use of the muscles and joints
Gustatory DD Difficulty determining/interpreting characteristics of sensory stimuli that is tasted
Olfactory DD Difficulty determining/interpreting characteristics of sensory stimuli that is smelled

Pattern 1: Sensory Modulation Disorder

Sensory Over-Responsivity

Individuals with sensory over-responsivity are more sensitive to sensory stimulation than most people. Their bodies feel sensation too easily or too intensely. They might feel as if they are being constantly bombarded with information. Consequently, these people often have a “fight or flight” response to sensation e.g. being touched unexpectedly or loud noise, a condition sometimes called “sensory defensiveness.” They may try to avoid or minimize sensations, e.g., withdraw from being touched, or cover their ears to avoid loud sounds.
Back

Sensory Under-Responsivity

Individuals who are under-responsive to sensory stimuli are often quiet and passive, disregarding or not responding to stimuli of the usual intensity available in their sensory environment. They may appear withdrawn, difficult to engage and or self absorbed because they do not detect the sensory input in their environment. Their under-responsivity to tactile and deep pressure input may lead to poor body awareness, clumsiness or movements that are not graded appropriately. These children may not perceive objects that are too hot or cold or they may not notice pain in response to bumps, falls, cuts, or scrapes.
Back

Sensory Craving 

Individuals with this pattern actively seek or crave sensory stimulation and seem to have an almost insatiable desire for sensory input. They tend to be constantly moving, crashing, bumping, and/or jumping. They may “need” to touch everything and be overly affectionate, not understanding what is “their space” vs. “other’s space”. Sensory seekers are often thought to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Back

 

 

Pattern 2: Sensory-Based Motor Disorder


Postural Disorder

An individual with postural disorder has difficulty stabilizing his/her body during movement or at rest in order to meet the demands of the environment or of a motor task. When postural control is good, the person can reach, push, pull, etc. and has good resistance against force. Individuals with poor postural control often do not have the body control to maintain a good standing or sitting position.
Back

Dyspraxia/Motor Planning Problems

Individuals with Dyspraxia have trouble processing sensory information properly, resulting in problems planning and carrying out new motor actions. They may have difficulty in forming a goal or idea, planning a sequence of actions or performing new motor tasks. These individuals are clumsy, awkward, and accident-prone. They may break toys, have poor skill in ball activities or other sports, or have trouble with fine motor activities. They may prefer sedentary activities or try to hide their motor planning problem with verbalization or with fantasy play.
Back
Sensory Discrimination Disorder

Sensory discrimination refers to the process whereby specific qualities of sensory stimuli are perceived and meaning attributed to them. Discriminate means understanding accurately what is seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled. Individuals with SDD difficulties have problems determining the characteristics of sensory stimuli. The result is a poor ability to interpret or give meaning to the specific qualities of stimuli, or difficulty detecting similarities and differences among stimuli. (Do I see a “P” or a “Q”? Do I hear “cat” or “cap”? Do I feel a quarter or a dime in my pocket? Am I falling to the side or backwards?). Individuals with poor sensory discrimination may appear awkward in both gross and fine motor abilities and/or inattentive to people and objects in their environment. They may take extra time to process the important aspects of sensory stimuli.
Back

 

Eight Sensory Systems

(Please note: figures below are from Wikipedia)

DESCRIPTION OF THE EIGHT SENSORY SYSTEMS

The five basic sensory systems:

The three sensory systems Ayres focused on in describing sensory integration dysfunction:

The most recently discussed set of sensations related to internal organs

SPD Sensory Seeking

Individuals with this pattern actively seek or crave sensory stimulation and seem to have an almost insatiable desire for sensory input. They tend to be constantly moving, crashing, bumping, and/or jumping. They may “need” to touch everything and be overly affectionate, not understanding what is “their space” vs. “other’s space”. Sensory seekers are often thought to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Sensory Over-Responsivity

Individuals with sensory over-responsivity are more sensitive to sensory stimulation than most people. Their bodies feel sensation too easily or too intensely. They might feel as if they are being constantly bombarded with information. Consequently, these people often have a “fight or flight” response to sensation e.g. being touched unexpectedly or loud noise, a condition sometimes called “sensory defensiveness.” They may try to avoid or minimize sensations, e.g., withdraw from being touched, or cover their ears to avoid loud sounds.

Sensory Under-Responsivity

Individuals who are under-responsive to sensory stimuli are often quiet and passive, disregarding or not responding to stimuli of the usual intensity available in their sensory environment. They may appear withdrawn, difficult to engage and or self absorbed because they do not detect the sensory input in their environment. Their under-responsivity to tactile and deep pressure input may lead to poor body awareness, clumsiness or movements that are not graded appropriately. These children may not perceive objects that are too hot or cold or they may not notice pain in response to bumps, falls, cuts, or scrapes.

Postural Control Disorder

An individual with postural control disorder has difficulty stabilizing his/her body during movement or at rest in order to meet the demands of the environment or of a motor task. When postural control is good, the person can reach, push, pull, etc. and has good resistance against force. Individuals with poor postural control often do not have the body control to maintain a good standing or sitting position.

Dyspraxia/Motor Planning Problems

Individuals with Dyspraxia have trouble processing sensory information properly, resulting in problems planning and carrying out new motor actions. They may have difficulty in forming a goal or idea, planning a sequence of actions or performing new motor tasks. These individuals are clumsy, awkward, and accident prone. They may break toys, have poor skill in ball activities or other sports, or have trouble with fine motor activities. They may prefer sedentary activities or try to hide their motor planning problem with verbalization or with fantasy play.

Sensory Discrimination Disorder

Sensory discrimination refers to the process whereby specific qualities of sensory stimuli are perceived and meaning attributed to them. It is understanding accurately what is seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled. Individuals with SDD difficulties have problems determining the characteristics of sensory stimuli. The result is a poor ability to interpret or give meaning to the specific qualities of stimuli, or difficulty detecting similarities and differences among stimuli. (Do I see a “P” or a “Q”? Do I hear “cat” or “cap”? Do I feel a quarter or a dime in my pocket? Am I falling to the side or backwards?). Individuals with poor sensory discrimination may appear awkward in both gross and fine motor abilities and/or inattentive to people and objects in their environment. They may take extra time to process the important aspects of sensory stimuli.

Back to top

A.  The five basic sensory systems:

1.  Visual System

The visual system is responsible for seeing.

The primary visual area of the brain is the occipital lobe (see figure).  Projections are received from the retina (through the thalamus) where different types of information are encoded.  Types of visual information include: color, shape, orientation, and motion. From the ventral stream in the occipital lobe information projects to the temporal lobe to process what objects are.  From the dorsal stream, information goes to the parietal lobes to process where objects are located.

Back to top

2.  Auditory System

The auditory system is responsible for hearing.

The primary auditory cortex is located in the superior temporal gyrus of the brain (see figure).  Specific sound frequencies can be mapped precisely onto the primary auditory cortex.  Particular areas in the auditory cortex process changes in sound frequency or amplitude, while other areas process combinations of sound frequencies.  The major area involved in comprehending language, (called Wernike’s area) is located in the left hemisphere in most people.


Back to top

3.  Olfactory (smell) System

The olfactory system is responsible for processing smell.

The olfactory bulb is located in the most forward part of the brain on the bottom side of the brain (see figure).  The olfactory bulb transmits smell information from the nose to the brain, and is thus necessary for a proper sense of smell.  Unlike the other sensory systems the olfactory bulb has only one source of sensory input (neurons of the olfactory epithelium) and one output. Thus it is assumed to be more of a filter than an associative circuit that has many inputs and many outputs.

The olfactory bulb does receive “top-down” information from areas such as the amygdalaneocortex,hippocampus, and others. It has four functions:

▪                     discriminating among odors

▪                     enhancing detection of odors

▪                     filtering out many background odors

▪                     allowing higher brain areas related to arousal and attention to modify the detection and/or the discrimination of odors

Looking up from the base of the brain

Back to top

4.  Gustatory (taste) System

The Gustatory system is responsible for the sense of taste.

It allows us to discriminate between safe and harmful foods. Usually individuals prefer sweet and salty tastes to sour or bitter tastes. Detecting salt is critical to keeping a regulated and stable internal body environment. This taste is perceived positivity because it facilitates re-uptake of water into the blood.  Since it helps survival, salt is perceived as a pleasant taste by most humans.

Sour taste can be good in small quantities, but when it gets too sour it becomes unpleasant to taste. This has occurred through evolution to protect us from eating over-ripe fruit, rotten meat, and other spoiled foods (dangerous because of bacteria which grow in these environments)..

The bitter taste is almost completely unpleasant to humans. This is because many dangerous pharmacological agents taste bitter, including caffeinenicotine, and strychnine. Some bitter tastes can be overcome (note how popular Starbucks is world wide! Also note how many medicines when chewed, have a bitter taste, apparently being interpreted by our bodies as poisons.

Sweet taste signals that carbohydrates are present. Carbohydrates have a high calorie count and are desirable (humans in the distant past did not know when their next meal would occur, so they evolved to want/need to eat sweet tastes.

The primary gustatory cortex is located near the somatotopic region for the tongue, in the insular cortex deep in the lateral fissure with the secondary taste areas in the opercula (see figure).  This means the location is folded deeply within the cortex within the lateral sulcus between the temporal and frontal lobes.

Back to top

5.  Tactile System

The tactile system is responsible for processing touch information from the body.

The body sends tactile information to the somatosensory cortex through neural pathways to the spinal cord, the brain stem, and the thalamus.  The primary somatosensory cortex is the primary receptive area for touch sensations and is located in the lateral postcentral gyrus, a prominent structure in the parietal lobe of the human brain.

Due to its many connections to other brain areas, the somatosensory cortex is the part of the nervous system that integrates touch, pressure, temperature, and pain.

The tactile system is extremely important in SPD. Many individuals with the disorder have tactile symptoms such as tactile defensiveness or under-responsivity to touch and pain.  The touch system is one of the  three foundational systems used in sensory integration treatment.

 

 

B.  The three sensory systems Ayres focused on in describing the treatment of sensory integration dysfunction:

5.  Tactile system (see description above)

6.  Vestibular System

The vestibular system contributes to balance and orientation in space. It is the leading system informing us about movement and position of head relative to gravity.

Our movements include two positions rotations and linear directionality. Thus, the vestibular system has two related components: the semicircular canal system, (related to detecting rotation) and the otoliths, (related to detecting linear acceleration/deceleration).

The vestibular system sends signals primarily to the neural parts of the brain that control our eye movements, and that keep us upright.

The vestibular system contains three semicircular canals, which are approximately at right angles to each other:

the horizontal  canal, which detects rotation around a vertical axis (as when you do spins in ice skating)

the anterior semicircular canal , detects movement in forward/backward plane as in a nodding movement,

the posterior  canal, detects movement in a frontal plane as in when cartwheeling.

The canal on each side has an almost parallel counterpart on the other side. Each pair of canals works in a push-pull fashion: when one is stimulated, its partner is inhibited. Together the partners allow us to sense rotation in all directions.

Emphasis on the function of the vestibular system comes from Ayres influence when she identified sensory processing disorders as a new condition.  This sensory system has a broad influence in many parts of the brain projecting to:

      • The cerebellum (to effect movements of the head, eyes, and posture).
      • Cranial nerves III, IV, and VI (to permit the eyes to fix on a moving object while staying in focus).
      • Reticular formation (to signal how to adjust circulation and breathing when the body assumes a new position).
      • Spinal Cord (to allow quick reflex reactions related to balancing).
      • Thalamus (to control head and body motor responses.

The information above is only a simple introduction to the role of the vestibular system as it relates to SPD.  The figure below depicts the complex vestibular system.  This figure is in the public domain from Grey’s anatomy book.

 

 Back to top

7.  Proprioception

Proprioception (sense of muscle and/or joint movements) System

The proprioceptive system (sometimes abbreviated as “prop” by therapists when they talk about it) senses the position, location, orientation, and movement of the body muscles and joints. Proprioception provides us with the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and effort used to move body parts.

Proprioception is activated by input to a proprioceptor in the periphery of the body.  The proprioceptive sense combines sensory information from neurons in the inner ear (detecting motion and orientation) andstretch receptors in the muscles and the joint-supporting ligaments for stance.

Two types of proprioception exist:

Proprioception was felt by Ayres to be the foundation (with vestibular impairments) of SPD.  It is one of the three sensory systems used by SI trained therapists as the cornerstone of the sensory aspect of advanced treatment.

Temporary proprioceptive impairment is reported during times of quick growth, mostly during adolescence. Other large increases or drops in bodyweight/size due to fluctuations of fat (e.g., liposuction) and/or muscle content (e.g., body-building) also affect proprioception.

Proprioception is occasionally impaired in typically developing individuals, for example, if you are tired. Generally speaking we do not notice out proprioceptive sense because we disregard through habituationdesensitization, or adaptation sensory stimuli that is continuously present. In essence, the habituation makes the proprioceptive sensory impressions disappear.  One practical advantage of this is that unnoticed sensation continue in the background while an individual’s attention can move to another concern.

Temporary impairment of proprioception has also been known to occur from an overdose of vitamin B6 and or by cytotoxic factors such as chemotherapy.

Back to top

8. Interoception

The eighth, often neglected, but frequently problematic sensory system in SPD is the Interoceptive System.  Interoception refers to sensations related to the physiological / physical condition of the body. ‎  Interoceptors are internal sensors that provide a sense of what our internal organs are feeling. Hunger and thirst are examples of interoception.

Interoception detects responses that guide regulation, including hunger, heart rate, respiration and elimination. The Interoceptive stimulation is detected through nerve endings lining the respiratory and digestive mucous membranes. Interoception works the vestibular and proprioceptive senses to determine how an individual perceives their own body.  Well-modulated interoception helps the individual detect proprioceptive and vestibular sensation normally. For example, if a person feels his/her heart pounding, while it is not comfortable, trauma from the stimulation is not likely; nor will the stimulation be craved. The same is true for hunger and thirst, as well as the feeling of the need to urinate or have a bowel movement.

Interoception is associated with autonomic motor control, and is different than mechano-reception (in the skin) and proprioception (in the  muscles and joints). Interoception is located in the dorsal posterior insula and it create s distinct feelings from the body including pain, temperature, itch, muscular and visceral sensations, vasomotor activity, hunger, thirst, and the need for air. In humans, the primary Interoceptive activity  occurs in the right anterior insula, which provides the basis for subjective feelings of ones’ emotional awareness.

Some researchers believe that our perceptions of well-being, energy and stress are based on sensations representing the physiological condition of our bodies.  They suggest that interoception is a foundation subjective feelings, emotion and self-awareness.  There is evidence that the anterior insula-cingulate system may integrate Interoceptive information with emotional salience to form a subjective representation of the body; while the mid-cingulate cortex, are more likely involved in environmental monitoring, response selection, and body orientation. (see Taylor KS, Seminowicz DADavis KD. (2009). Two systems of resting connectivity in Human Brain Mapp.  30(9):2731-45

 

Back to top

____________________________________________________________________

See below for general diagram of the neuroanatomical locations noted in above descriptions. The brains depicted below are shown from a side view with the nose pointing to the left.

 

Back to top

____________________________________________________________________


Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist

Many of the symptoms listed in the following categories are common to that particular age group. Where more than a few symptoms are found in a child, we recommend you talk to your doctor or check the SPD Foundation’s Treatment Directory for a professional experienced with treating Sensory Processing Disorder.*

 

Infant/ Toddler Checklist: 
____ My infant/toddler has problems eating.
____ My infant/toddler refused to go to anyone but me.
____ My infant/toddler has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
____ My infant/toddler is extremely irritable when I dress him/her; seems to be uncomfortable in clothes.
____ My infant/toddler rarely plays with toys, especially those requiring dexterity.
____ My infant/toddler has difficulty shifting focus from one object/activity to another.
____ My infant/toddler does not notice pain or is slow to respond when hurt.
____ My infant/toddler resists cuddling, arches back away from the person holding him.
____ My infant/toddler cannot calm self by sucking on a pacifier, looking at toys, or listening to my voice.
____ My infant/toddler has a “floppy” body, bumps into things and has poor balance.
____ My infant/toddler does little or no babbling, vocalizing.
____ My infant/toddler is easily startled.
____ My infant/toddler is extremely active and is constantly moving body/limbs or runs endlessly.
____ My infant/toddler seems to be delayed in crawling, standing, walking or running.

 

Pre-School Checklist:
____ My child has difficulty being toilet trained.
____ My child is overly sensitive to stimulation, overreacts to or does not like touch, noise, smells, etc.
____ My child is unaware of being touched/bumped unless done with extreme force/intensity.
____ My child has difficulty learning and/or avoids performing fine motor tasks such as using crayons and fasteners on clothing.
____ My child seems unsure how to move his/her body in space, is clumsy and awkward.
____ My child has difficulty learning new motor tasks.
____ My child is in constant motion.
____ My child gets in everyone else’s space and/or touches everything around him.
____ My child has difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/ withdrawn).
____ My child is intense, demanding or hard to calm and has difficulty with transitions.
____ My child has sudden mood changes and temper tantrums that are unexpected.
____ My child seems weak, slumps when sitting/standing; prefers sedentary activities.
____ It is hard to understand my child’s speech.
____ My child does not seem to understand verbal instructions.

 

School Age: 
___ My child is overly sensitive to stimulation, overreacts to or does not like touch, noise, smells, etc.
___ My child is easily distracted in the classroom, often out of his/her seat, fidgety.
___ My child is easily overwhelmed at the playground, during recess and in class.
___ My child is slow to perform tasks.
___ My child has difficulty performing or avoids fine motor tasks such as handwriting.
___ My child appears clumsy and stumbles often, slouches in chair.
___ My child craves rough housing, tackling/wrestling games.
___ My child is slow to learn new activities.
___ My child is in constant motion.
___ My child has difficulty learning new motor tasks and prefers sedentary activities.
___ My child has difficulty making friends (overly aggressive or passive/ withdrawn).
___ My child ïgets stuck’ on tasks and has difficulty changing to another task.
___ My child confuses similar sounding words, misinterprets questions or requests.
___ My child has difficulty reading, especially aloud.
___ My child stumbles over words; speech lacks fluency, and rhythm is hesitant.

 

Adolescent/Adult: 
___ I am over-sensitive to environmental stimulation: I do not like being touched.
___ I avoid visually stimulating environments and/or I am sensitive to sounds.
___ I often feel lethargic and slow in starting my day.
___ I often begin new tasks simultaneously and leave many of them uncompleted.
___ I use an inappropriate amount of force when handling objects.
___ I often bump into things or develop bruises that I cannot recall.
___ I have difficulty learning new motor tasks, or sequencing steps of a task.
___ I need physical activities to help me maintain my focus throughout the day.
___ I have difficulty staying focused at work and in meetings.
___ I misinterpret questions and requests, requiring more clarification than usual.
___ I have difficulty reading, especially aloud.
___ My speech lacks fluency, I stumble over words.
___ I must read material several times to absorb the content.
___ I have trouble forming thoughts and ideas in oral presentations.

 

*While this checklist can’t diagnose a child with SPD, it can be a helpful guide to see if additional testing should be done. When filling out this checklist, think about the child’s behavior during the past six months.

 

Your Child’s Safety Can Also Support SPDF Funding

Your Child’s Safety Can Also

Support SPDF Funding

FinalSPDFoundationBanner

Alert Me Bands is a novel idea of tagging children with up to two emergency contact names and numbers, so whether your child is lost, in an emergency, or simply misbehaving at a birthday party; the wristband will communicate whom to call as well as communicate your child’s special need with a design from the Special Needs Category.  Alert Me Bands sell for $21.95 and are designed so that it is easy for adults to put on and take off but impossible for young children to do the same. This feature allows parents to feel confident that their kids will have their phone numbers in an obvious and visible place on their wrists. And the bands are adjustable to wear over the sleeve of their jacket for outdoor events. Alert Me Bands are made of high quality, soft, durable, and lightweight material, making it perfect for children with tactile sensitivities.

 

During the month of March, Alert Me Bands will donate 20% of every wristband sold, using the Give Back Code ‘SPD’, to the SPD Foundation.

 

Alert Me Band imagePurchase an Alert Me Band Today

 

*Product listed represents a business supporting the mission of the SPD Foundation. It is not an endorsement of the product.

 

Honoring Our Champions

Honoring Heroes of the SPD Foundation

 

Five Amazing SPD Champions will be honored on March 14 at our Banquet of Champions 

Read about two of them: 

 

Champion of Inspiration

 

Pat Pietro, Champion of Inspiration, is the owner of the Family Thrift Center. Pat has been a dedicated philanthropist on behalf of the SPD Foundation and has provided proceeds from his business for over 20 years — supporting research and education programs to advance the cause of SPD. 

 

Pat loyally served his country in Viet Nam and firmly believes in giving back to the community. During his early years in Denver, he worked for the Disabled American Veterans as an area manager and later as a district manager in Florida and New Orleans. Upon his return to Denver in 1984, he met Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and has been an ardent supporter of the SPD Foundation ever since. His philosophy of giving back to the community is evidenced by his words and his actions.

Champion of Passion

 

Edward Goldson, MD, and Champion of Passion, is a professor of Pediatrics and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. During his early years with Children’s Hospital, he met Dr. Lucy Jane Miller who later invited him to join the Board of the Foundation, and he has been a member now for over 20 years. The focus of his clinical and research activities has involved children with special health care needs and disabilities. As part of his advocacy outreach, he has presented SPD topics in his lectures abroad and has been an invaluable partner in SPD research discussions. 

 

Dr. Goldson is our Champion of Passion because of his tireless efforts to educate others about SPD, his years of support to the foundation, and his compassion and devotion to advocate for children. Dr. Goldson has been a vital collaborator with the SPD Foundation as a scholar, colleague, and board member.

 

 

Join us on March 14 for

Our Banquet of Champions

 

This special event is a fundraiser benefiting the SPD Foundation in our  mission to providehope and help for special needs children. You won’t want to miss this evening of entertainment with cocktails, live music by Coles Whalen, a silent auction, a photo booth by LightBooth, fun activities, gourmet dinner, and awards ceremony.

 

You can help even if you don’t live in Colorado!

 

REGISTER TODAY!

Your Child’s Safety Can Also

Support SPDF Funding

  

Alert Me Bands is a novel idea of tagging children with up to two emergency contact names and numbers, so whether your child is lost, in an emergency, or simply misbehaving at a birthday party, the wristband will communicate whom to call as well as communicate your child’s special need with a design from the Special Needs Category. Alert Me Bands sell for $21.95 and are designed so that it is easy for adults to put on and take off but impossible for young children to do the same. This feature allows parents to feel confident that their kids will have their phone numbers in an obvious and visible place on their wrists. And the bands are adjustable to wear over the sleeve of their jacket for outdoor events. Alert Me Bands are made of high quality, soft, durable, and lightweight material, making it perfect for children with tactile sensitivities.

 

During the month of March, Alert Me Bands will donate 20% of every wristband sold to the SPD Foundation, using the Give Back Code ‘SPD.’ 

 

Purchase an Alert Me Band Today

 

*Product listed represents a business supporting the mission of the SPD Foundation. It is not an endorsement of the product.

Get Free All STAR Webinars By Becoming a Member

 

The SPD Foundation membership benefits are better than ever before!

  • A coupon for FlagHouse merchandise for the same value as your membership! Find hundreds of great toys, games, and equipment for those with SPD or other special needs.
  • Free All-STAR webinar series – a value of $105
  • 10% discount on all online training programs
  • Tax dedictible 
  • And more…

 

Sign up Today…

NEW webinars on Assessments from Sensory Experts

Announcing Two NEW Webinars!

Two NEW Assessments Webinars just added

 

  • Assessment of Social/Emotional Functioning – March 26, 2014 
    • Review the free-to-use evaluations and scales in public domain or online that focus on various aspects of social and emotional functioning in children and adults and their utility in the SPD population.      
  • Assessing Clinical Co-morbidities – April 30, 2014
    • Review how co-morbid clinical conditions, such as autism or anxiety, might affect the presentation and treatment of SPD as well as assist in differential diagnosis.

 

Plus view the popular original Assessments Webinar Series

  • Overview of Pediatric Assessments brought to you by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR and Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTR
  • Two-part series on the M-FUN (Miller Function and Participation Scales)
    • Administration and Scoring
    • Advanced Interpretation and How it Informs Treatment

 

Details and registration here

Bring a Workshop to Your Community!

 

Now available: the new Goal-Oriented Assessment of Lifeskills (GOAL)Workshop

GOAL is an innovative new evaluation of functional motor abilities needed for daily living in children ages 7 to 17. Learn administration, scoring, and interpretation for intervention at this 1-day workshop.

 

Scheduled workshops:

-       Phoenix, AZ – April 12, 2014 in collaboration with ArizOTA

-       Beaufort, SC – May 3, 2014

 

Watch for workshops in New York, Illinois, California, Texas, and other states to be posted soon!

 

Bring this one-day workshop to your community or state.

Details and registration…

Check out our other online programs and in-person educational offerings:

 

All STAR Lecture Series Webinars

Details and registration

 

Symposia and Online Courses

Details and registration here

 

The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding Advanced Topics

Details and registration here

 

SOS Approach to Feeding Workshops Coming to INDIANAPOLIS, SEATTLE, and LITTLE ROCK 

Details and registration here…

 

Intensive Mentorship: Clinical Reasoning in Intervention – Hurry! These sessions are limited and filling fast:

 

2014 Dates:

March 17-21 – SOLD OUT

May 19-23 – ONLY 4 SEATS LEFT!

June 23-27

July 21-25

August 18-22

October 20-24

Details and registration here…

SAVE THE DATE – November 7-8, 2014 in Tempe, Arizona

17th International 3S SymposiumSPDStrategies, Science, and Success

 

Watch for details here…

WA303 Assessment of Social/Emotional Functioning

March 26, 2014 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET Presented by Dr. Jillian Sullivan, PhD Review the free-to-use evaluations and scales in public domain or online that focus on various aspects of social and emotional functioning in children and adults and their utility in the SPD population. Learn why social/emotional functioning is an important domain in clinical assessment, evaluating change across intervention, and in research of SPD. Explore free-to-use and public domain examples of social/emotional functioning measures, including those for empathy, emotion recognition and emotion regulation, and how online resources can be harnessed to make the testing of these areas cost- and time-effective. See how the SPD Foundation has administered and analyzed these measures in its own research. Includes a videotape analysis and panel discussion of treatment of a child with SPD with social/emotional issues that impact their function in daily life and intervention implications. The panel will consist of Lucy Miller, Sarah Schoen, and Mim Bartos, OTR.

Forgot Password or Username?
Register Now!
Assessments WA303  Assessment of Social/Emotional Functioning
Review the free-to-use evaluations and scales in public domain or online that focus on various aspects of social and emotional functioning in children and adults and their utility in the SPD population. Learn why social/emotional functioning is an important domain in clinical assessment, evaluating change across intervention, and in research of SPD. Explore free-to-use and public domain examples of social/emotional functioning measures, including those for empathy, emotion recognition and emotion regulation, and how online resources can be harnessed to make the testing of these areas cost- and time-effective. See how the SPD Foundation has administered and analyzed these measures in its own research. Includes a videotape analysis and panel discussion of treatment of a child with SPD with social/emotional issues that impact their function in daily life and intervention implications. The panel will consist of Lucy Miller, Sarah Schoen, Mim Bartos, OTR.


Learning objectives
• Understand the importance of the social/emotional domain in SPD
• How to add social/emotional scales to your assessment of individuals with SPD
• The impact of sensory/emotional issues on intervention
Price: $90.00
System Requirements:

  • Hardware:
    • Display: Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution
    • RAM: 256 megabytes (MB) of RAM – 512 MB recommended
    • Audio: 16-bit sound card with Speakers/headphones (Subtitles are NOT available)
  • Software:
    • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or above, Macintosh OS X v10.4 or above or Linux
    • Browser: Internet Explorer 8.0 or above, Firefox 2.0 or above, or Safari 3.0, or Chrome 4.0 or above
    • If on a desktop we recommend Adobe Flash Player 10.0.32 or above (download)
  • Internet Connection Tips:
    • During video streaming, we recommend that all other tabs, browsers, and programs are closed.
    • For a reliable viewing experience at medium quality we recommend a downstream connection speed of at least 700Kbps.(+1 Mbps Recommended)
    • Viewers can select a higher (up to 2Mbps for HD) or lower (198Kbps for low) video quality on the player depending on the connection speed.
    • It may also help to hardwire your Internet connection, instead of using a wireless network connection.
    • You can test your connection speed here we recommend testing several times as bandwidth can fluctuate.