Diagnosis Helps Parents Look Beyond ADHD

Disorder, known for 3 decades, affects kids' sensitivity to stimuli
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Dec 3, 2007 4:20 PM CST
Children suffering from SPD sometimes have difficulty handling the feeling of clothing on their skin.    (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Some kids whose behavioral difficulties don't quite match up with symptoms of ADHD or autism may warrant a different diagnosis: sensory processing disorder. Most doctors aren't familiar with the term because it isn't in psychiatric manuals, but occupational therapists have been treating the disorder since the '70s. Still, reports Time, many specialists consider the label an ineffective catch-all.

Symptoms can include oversensitivity to touch, sound, and taste, as well as poor response to conversation and play. Specialists expect the disorder to be validated by 2025, but families and researchers will be hard pressed for financial support in the meantime. "It's hard to get grants for a disorder that doesn't exist," said one advocate.