Sensory deficit (or sensory processing) disorder is recognized as a part of autism spectrum disorders. Doctors do not diagnose it as a separate condition but it comes in a set with other disorders. It happens when the brain hardly recognizes and processes the information it receives through senses. Some people are oversensitive to the objects they encounter. An average light can be overwhelming, a sound can be painful. A touch of clothes irritates their skin. These people often have poor coordination, bump into objects, and cannot tell where their limbs are in space.
Manifestations of sensory processing disorder in children can be quite different. Some of them are overresponsive. – they scream when touched and vomit food with inappropriate texture. Some others can, on the contrary, be unresponsive to anything around them. Such kids may not respond even to extreme temperatures or pain. Tantrums are common in children with SPD. They usually happen in healthy kids too, and therapists pay closer attention only when the severity of symptoms disrupts everyday life of children.
The causes of SPD are unclear. Some researchers say that hypersensitivity is a genetic problem. They also found that children show an inadequate response when exposed to several stimuli at a time. Sensory disorders can be treated by helping children cope with difficult situations and unpleasant objects. Sensory integration is created individually to suit individual needs of a child.