Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
Dysfuntional metabolic pathways can drive SPD. In SPD the brain decodes sensory information in a distorted or different way and the responses seem inappropriate. An individual with SPD may overreact to the scent of perfume, the touch of a label on a shirt, the viscosity of mashed potatoes or the feel of water. It can also manifest as poor hearing, sight, speech and/or coordination. The visual and auditory can be hard to diagnose unless you go to a specialist who tests for auditory and visual processing (information from the inner ear to the cerebellum) not for hearing and sight.
The reaction in young children can be especially strong in the form of tantrums, withdrawl and/or anxiety. Or it can be the opposite, a marked lack of response to getting hurt or being touched. It appears to be an odd range of behaviours but they all originate from a single nervous system process. Sometimes it is one sense that is the core issue causing disruption of other senses.
Many SPD symptoms overlap with Apsergers, AD/HD, ODD and for this reason can go mis or undiagnosed. In the case of the former, medication can be wrongly prescribed. Sometimes there is an overlap with the above disorders, but in some cases the SPD is causing issues with eating, sleeping, getting dressed, socializing that appear to be resulting from different disorders. Studies show that SPD is more pronounced in children but that it is not “outgrown”.. In adults episodes can be triggered by stress and illness.
SPD children often have AD/HD, learning difficulties and/or other developmental issues. They are often gifted.
The biomedical approach supports metabolism and begins to open sensory pathways. Once this is working, it is best to find an Occupational Therapist skilled in Sensory Integration who can develop a program suited to the individual needs and could include ways to improve; auditory discrimination, balance, motor planning, directionality, visual/spatial discrimination, eye-hand coordination, tactile discrimination, awareness of body position, crossing the midline, communication.
An inability to detox also leads to an overload of neurotoxins (lead and mercury are most common) which can result in learning disabilities, epilepsy, behavioural disorders and/or lower IQ. It is important to take action to support the body’s detox mechanisms.
In the womb, babies are protected by involuntary reflexes, controlled by the lower centers of the brain. These “Primitive Relfexes” are important for survival and development in the womb and in enfancy. As the brain’s high centers mature for conscious control, these Primitive Reflexes are integrated into the higher centers during the first 6-12 months of life. Pyhsical, chemical, hormonal and/or any trauma can cause the reflexes to be “retained” which can effect behaviour, learning, motor skills, structure and much more. It may also be that trauma causes previously integrated reflexes to reemerge.
The key primitive reflexes are; Fear Paralysis, Moro, Juvenile Suck & Rooting, Palmar & Plantar, Asymmetrical Tonic Neck, Tonic Labyrinthe, Spinal Galant.
Where can I find a certified practitioner?Finding a well-trained Integrative and/or Functional practitioner requires research but is a vital step in treating complex and chronic illness.
Below are links to lists of practitioners worldwide. We recommend you research the scope, expertise and experience of any practitioners you are considering.
U.S. & GlobalInstitute of Functional Medicine
Integrative Medicine for Mental Health
Medical Academy of Paediatric Special Needs (MAPS)
Australia & New ZealandMindd Foundation
The Australian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM)
UKThe British Society for Ecological Medicine
Disclaimer: Mindd Foundation does not endorse any specific individuals listed and makes no representations, warranties, nor guarantees and assumes no responsibility for any services provided. Mindd Foundation expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind as a result of using any products or services provided by those listed.