Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory processing (sometimes called "sensory integration" or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or "sensory integration."
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is used to refer to individuals who are either under-responsive or over-responsive to certain types of sensory stimulation, and for whom this makes it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks.
What SPD looks like:
SPD can affect people in only one sense -–for example, just touch or just sight or just movement–- or in multiple senses. One person with SPD may be over-responsive to sensation and find clothing, physical contact, light, sound, food, or other sensory input to be unbearable. Another might be under-responsive and show little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold. SPD can present in isolation or can occur in conjunction with other disorders such as ADHD.