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4 Common Myths About Sensory Processing Issues

4 Common Myths About Sensory Processing Issues

In recent years, the word has begun to spread about the challenges faced by people with sensory processing issues. While increased awareness is always a good thing, publicity also comes with the risk of misinformation being spread. As the parent of a child with sensory processing issues, you need to be aware of these common myths so that you can help other people learn the truth.

 

Myth #1: Sensory Processing Disorders Aren’t Real

People often deny the existence of things that they cannot physically see. While researchers are still working to find the underlying causes of sensory processing disorders, there is no denying that the symptoms are real when a child experiences extreme distress from sensations that come from something as simple as the seam of a sock. In fact, pediatricians, occupational therapists and behavioral counselors are all professionals who can vouch for the accuracy of a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder.

 

Myth #2: Kids with Sensory Processing Issues Also Have Autism

You may also find that people tend to lump behavioral disorders together. For instance, you may hear someone say that your child has autism or ADHD. However, you should know that the majority of children with sensory processing issues do not have other disorders. While many children with autism or ADHD do have sensory processing issues, it’s possible to experience symptoms without having another disorder. Never let someone try to diagnose your child. Instead, seek a professional’s opinion if you suspect that your child may have a coexisting condition.

 

Myth #3: More Discipline Will Fix the Problem

It’s frustrating as a parent to feel judged for the choices that you make regarding how you address your child’s behavior. Unfortunately, many people are misinformed, and they believe that a sensory meltdown is the same thing as a tantrum. Using harsh discipline techniques on a child that is having sensory issues can actually make the situation worse. For instance, your child may feel even more upset if they believe that they are misunderstood. Instead, it’s best to treat the symptoms as they arise, and learn how to prevent future meltdowns. For instance, giving your child seamless socks and undergarments can stop those morning battles before they begin, and taking your child to a quieter place can stop a grocery shopping meltdown from getting worse.

 

Myth #4: People Grow Out of Their Symptoms

In a perfect world, no one would enter adulthood with the issues that they faced in childhood. However, most people with sensory processing issues still have them as adults, but they learn how to manage their symptoms. For example, an adult might choose their outfits based upon their comfort, or they may use distractions such as wearing headphones to reduce their symptoms in a noisy environment. While your child may outgrow their symptoms, teaching them how to manage them is the best way to help them successfully navigate the transitions that exist as they mature.

Now that the word about sensory processing disorders is spreading, we all have a responsibility to make sure that only the truth is shared. Remember that you are one of your child’s biggest advocate, and your commitment to eliminating the myths surrounding sensory processing issues helps everyone know how to provide them with support.

 

SOURCES:

  1. https://www.spdstar.org/basic/co-morbidity

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