More than ever I am being asked if my child has Autism, Asperger's or ADD/ADHD. So I've compiled a list of common signs that clinicians use when assessing an individual for childhood disorders.
- Extra sensitive to touch- they don't like to be touched or can't be touched enough.
- Sensitivity to sounds – they may cover over the years when the same noise doesn't bother others, including hairdryers, toilets or vacuums.
- Picky eaters- they will eat only one or two familiar foods, burgers, pizza, mac and cheese.
- Avoidance of sensory stimulation- they will put their hands in anything messy such as glue claim or mud, they also only wear certain clothes usually comfortable ones. They ask you to cut the tags out of their clothes.
- Uneasiness with movement- they fear amusement park rides playground equipment and being turned upside down most children with sensory processing disorder do not like gymnastic type movements.
- Hyperactivity- they can't sit still during the day and they are difficult to get to sleep at night.
- Fear of crowds- crowded areas bother them to the point of frequent public meltdowns.
- Poor fine or gross motor skills- they have trouble with handwriting or kicking the ball, riding a bike or writing.
- Excessive risk taking- they may be unaware of touch or pain which can come across as aggressive behavior, they jump or crash into anything they can.
- Trouble with balance- they may be accident prone to fall more often than others and have a preference for sedentary activities. Due to this they are often seen as lazy.
- Difficulty making friends - they prefer to play alone and their play may be repetitive. For instance they may draw the same thing over and over again, or they may talk about the same topic almost obsessively and this places limits on their social skills making it difficult to form friendships.
Sensory processing - making sense of the world - is what most adults conveyed to me as the most frustrating area they struggled with as children who were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, OCD, Autism, Asperger's. Sensory processing difficulties impacted every aspect of their lives - relationships, communication, self-awareness, safety and so on.
A Sensory Processing Disorder, although not an official diagnosis yet, is a term that is use to explain a neurological disorder causing difficulties with taking in, processing and responding to sensory information about the environment and from within the body.
Although this list is not complete, or intended to diagnose, these are behaviors that are typical of individuals with sensory processing issues. If you believe that you or your loved ones may be suffering from a sensory processing disorder it is recommended that you receive an expert evaluation from a licensed and skilled clinician such as those of the Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach.