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How Behavior is Affected by SPD

How Behavior is Affected by SPD


Children with sensory issues can be misunderstood as defiant or oppositional. Caregivers can play a large part in helping to understand a child’s experience, eliminate triggers, and provide products and services to support positive development.


What is Sensory Processing Disorder and How Does it Affect Behavior?


SPD is a condition in which the brain has difficulty processing information received from the senses. As a result, kids with SPD are oversensitive to ordinary inputs, and may show this through distressed behavior. Screaming and tantrums are a few behavioral expressions of distress by children with SPD. Children with SPD may also have a low pain threshold and may find that everyday sensations and experiences cause extreme discomfort.


What Are Common Sensory Triggers?


Every child is unique, but there are several common sensory triggers that children with SPD share:


●        Tags and seams in clothing

●        Hair brushing

●        Loud noises

●        Bright lights

●        Strong smells

●        Being touched

●        Bitter or tart flavors


What Things Can Help Kids With SPD?


Therapy and school services can help educate loved ones about activities and products that may help with the triggers and symptoms of SPD. Here are a few helpful tips that can help alleviate some of the behavioral side effects of SPD:


1. Develop a sensory routine: create a customized set of sensory experiences that can be done at home, school, and other locations. Sensory routines can include pushing, pulling, jumping, lifting, and pressure.


2. Seamless and compression clothing: many children with SPD can’t tolerate tags, seams, or loose fitting clothes. Experiment with seamless and/or compression garments to find comfortable, reassuring clothes.


3. Incorporate sensory activities at home: encourage activities like carrying laundry or pushing a broom. Touch foods at dinner, take long baths and take the time to feel the sensation of washcloths, bubbles, and lotion. Each of these ordinary activities can add to a child’s range of sensory information and increase tolerance.


SPD is a complex condition that can be intensified by behavioral reactions to triggers. Expanding sensory tolerance is an important part of increasing sensory tolerance and reducing behavioral outbursts.



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