artwork was created by a SPD
parent, Melissa Zacherl. Copyright 2004 by Melissa Zacherl.
All rights reserved. Used by
You must have written permission from SPD Bay Area to
use or reprint this diagram.
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
school. Effective treatment is available, but far too many children with SPD
are misdiagnosed and not properly treated.
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 testsmay 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.