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SPD is also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) or Dysfunction of Sensory Integration (DSI).
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AIT Institute for Berard Auditory Integration Training

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A Child With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
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This original artwork was created by a SPD parent, Melissa Zacherl.
Copyright 2004 by Melissa Zacherl. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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What is SPD?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a complex disorder of the brain that affects developing children. These children misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound, and movement. Some feel bombarded by sensory information; others seek out intense sensory experiences or have other problems. This can lead to behavioral problems, difficulties with coordination, and other issues. Children with SPD are often misunderstood and labeled as aggressive or clumsy. They often are socially isolated and have trouble in school. Effective treatment is available, but far too many children with SPD are misdiagnosed and not properly treated.

Important Note to Parents about Evaluation Methods for SPD:

Currently, the primary standardized assessment tool used for SPD is the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT). It was developed by A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., OTR, an occupational therapist and developmental psychologist.

The SIPT is suitable for children ages 4 to 8 who have learning, behavioral, or developmental delays. They must be able to devote two hours to the test. The SIPT is given by therapists who are SIPT-certified (they have completing an intensive course sponsored by Western Psychological Services or they received the training in college).

Other assessment tools may be used for children who are outside this age range or who have motor or language delays that make it difficult to interpret their responses to standardized testing.

The Sensory Profile and Short Sensory Profile tests may be used to screen children ages 5 to 10; other forms of this screening are used for infants and preschoolers. Clinical observation by an occupational therapist and interviews with parents and teachers may also be used.


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