Sensory processing disorder (SPD) occurs because the brain does not integrate and synthesize sensory input correctly, often leading to a “sensory overload.” This condition can affect any combination of the senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. Most people’s brains are wired to synthesize incoming sensory information into a cohesive whole, which often involves “filtering out” irrelevant stimuli. In SPD, this integration of information does not occur correctly. Because many stimuli are not “filtered out,” sounds or smells that most people ignore can be difficult for the person with SPD to habituate to, and can be unusually uncomfortable or distracting.
For example, for many people with SPD, loud noises or scratchy textiles can be unusually irritating or even painful. In children, SPD not only causes significant discomfort, but can interfere with the child’s ability to participate in day to day activities.
Recent evidence reveals that there are certain EEG signatures characteristic in people with SPD. As a result, neurofeedback therapy provides an excellent solution for improving symptoms of this disorder.
The following are a list of some of the common presenting SPD symptoms that are typically seen in children
» oversensitivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
» under-reactivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds
» tendency to be easily distracted
» social and/or emotional problems
» activity level that is unusually high or unusually low
» physical clumsiness or apparent carelessness
» impulsive, lacking in self-control
» difficulty in making transitions from one situation to another
» inability to unwind or calm self
» poor self concept
» delays in speech, language, or motor skills
» delays in academic achievement
These problems can make it hard for a child with SPD to learn in a classroom environment, regardless of normal or even above-average intelligence. Fortunately, neurofeedback therapy provides a safe, non-invasive solution to correcting some of the brain abnormalities related to SPD.
Neurofeedback for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
As with many other brain-based disorders, SPD is distinguished by abnormalities in the brain’s electrical activity patterns. Neurofeedback therapy has been clinically proven to help people suffering from sensory integration difficulties and can be either used on its own, or in conjunction with other treatments such as occupational therapy.
Neurofeedback can help reduce hyperactivity or underactivity in patients with SPD, as well as improving sensory integration symptoms and reducing over- or undersensitivity to stimuli. For children with SPD, neurofeedback therapy presents an incredibly safe and side-effect-free option for managing problems with sensory processing.
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