By Brian Alexander
You wouldn't know it to speak to her, because she's cheerfully chatty, with a pronounced Chicago-land accent, but Brandie Langer is worried. She's also a little worried about being worried. "Do you think I might be paranoid?" she asks. She has three children. The youngest, a son, is 5 years old, and Brandie has read a lot online about endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which some scientists say can scramble male hormones. EDCs are commonly found in plastics, bug-...
Some people with sensory processing disorder are oversensitive to things in their environment. Common sounds may be painful or overwhelming. The light touch of a shirt may chafe the skin.
Others with sensory processing disorder may:
Bump into things
Be unable to tell where their limbs are in space
Be hard to engage in conversation or play
Sensory processing problems are usually identified in children. But they can also affect adults. Sensory processing problems are commonly seen in developmental conditions like autism spectrum disorder.
Sensory processing disorder is not recognized as a stand-alone disorder. But many experts think that should change.
Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory processing disorder may affect one sense, like hearing, touch, or taste. Or it may affect multiple senses. And people can be over- or under-responsive to the things they have difficulties with.
Like many illnesses, the symptoms of sensory processing disorder exist on a spectrum.
In some children, for example, the sound of a leaf blower outside the window may cause them to vomit or dive under the table. They may scream when touched. They may recoil from the textures of certain foods.
But others seem unresponsive to anything around them. They may fail to respond to extreme heat or cold or even pain.
Many children with sensory processing disorder start out as fussy babies who become anxious as they grow older. These kids often don't handle change well. They may frequently throw tantrums or have meltdowns.
Many children have symptoms like these from time to time. But therapists consider a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder when the symptoms become severe enough to affect normal functioning and disrupt everyday life.