Common Symptoms

Movement

  • Extreme car sickness
  • Difficulty riding elevators and escalators
  • The need to concentrate when going up or down steps and curbs
  • Extreme sensitivity or fear of heights
  • Frequent dizziness
  • Not feeling grounded or having poor balance
  • Accident-prone, poor coordination, or the feeling of “moving stiffly”

 

Touch

  • Intolerance to physical touch such as casual contact in passing, hugging, intimacy, brushing teeth, washing hair, dentist/doctor visits
  • Discomfort with or the need for particular fabrics or types of clothing
  • Uncommonly high threshold for pain
  • The need to touch everything
  • The extreme need to be in control of touch
  • Extreme discomfort when feeling dirty or wet

 

Lights, Sounds, Smells, Taste

  • Extreme sensitivity to bright sunlight or flashing lights
  • Difficulty tolerating a loud restaurant, movie theater, or concert
  • Limited repertoire of food, rigid presentation of foods, or the need for intense flavors
  • Frequent smelling of objects/people or extreme sensitivity to strong smells
  • Difficulty tuning out background information, such as concentrating on a conversation in noisy environment or finding an object in a cluttered drawer
  • Difficulty tuning out common background noise, such as an air conditioner, refrigerator, or the buzz of fluorescent lights

 

Daily Functioning

  • Difficulty completing daily responsibilities, multitasking, time management
  • Difficulty navigating relationships with others – family, friends, co-workers
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Overwhelmed by crowded places
  • Difficulty tolerating changes in routine or expectations
  • Disorganized or the need for extreme organization
  • Difficulty attending or focusing on a task, easily distracted
  • Difficulty driving
  • Anxiety, frequent “startling”
  • Frequent emotional overreactions

People We Help

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Individuals with or without a formal diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), who have experienced a combination of the above symptoms, leading to functional difficulties in their lives.  This may include limiting their interactions and activities in ways that prevent them from successfully carrying out routine daily activities, forming healthy relationships, attaining career goals, or enjoying common leisure activities.

 

PTSD

Individuals experiencing frequent somatic symptoms associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This may include, but is not limited to, anxiety that interferes with daily functioning, frequent startling, discomfort with physical touch and affection, and emotional overreactions in response to daily life experiences.

 

Other Diagnoses

Individuals who have been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), AD(H)D, Asperger’s, or any number of diagnoses, and may experience difficulty forming relationships with others, feel uncomfortable within their own bodies, or have difficulty performing routine daily activities. 

Teens

Entering the teenage years...

As children reach the age of adolescence, many changes are occurring in their lives.  Differences in how their bodies feel and work, increased demands in social and emotional realms, and increasing complexity and sophistication in the areas of academics.  It is a time when difficulties related to sensory processing often become magnified in ways that affect daily function, affect how the adolescent or teen is perceived by others and affect the way in which they perceive themselves.  

While not an exhaustive list, some of the more common areas of difficulty are listed.

 

Social

  • What was previously “tolerated” by peers is now viewed as “weird”
  • Increasing social demands and expectations, “old strategies” no longer effective
  • Move stiffly/awkwardly, lack of fluidity, inflexible, can’t “go with the flow”
  • Decreased self-regulation - emotional or behavioral overreactions to routine events
  • Difficulty sitting still, impulsivity
  • Startle easily when others approach, discomfort upon casual contact with others
  • Feeling the effects of being bullied, either direct or subtle
  • Anxiety, panic attacks

Academics

  • Sudden demands of multiple teachers, variety of teaching styles
  • Coping with frequent transitions throughout the school day, specifically to each class
  • Increased workload
  • Organizational skills - “messy” assignments, due dates not adhered to, keeping track of workload
  • Study skills
  • Increased sophistication in thinking required (the “old strategies” are no longer effective)
  • Independence
  • Learning issues, both diagnosed and more subtle, including difficulty with reading/math
  • Motor planning as effects cognition - organization of thoughts, decision making, getting started with a task

 

Adolescence

  • Physiological and hormonal changes “shift the balance”
  • Previous therapy that was effective needs a “boost” through this stage
  • Body awareness issues compounded with physiological changes