If you or someone you love struggles with a sensory processing disorder, you may be wondering whether or not these issues get better or worse over time. The fact of the matter is that sensory processing disorders can vary widely in their severity, and whether or not they become less prevalent over time is highly dependent on the person they’re affecting, whether they’ve been diagnosed and if they’ve received treatment.
Every day our brains process tons of information without us even realizing it. For most people, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and physical sensations are all organized by our brains in a way that helps us make sense of the world around us. If you hear the sound of a car approaching, you know instinctively that you need to stand clear of the street before crossing it. You probably also easily tune out the sounds of your office or of a crowded department store.
For individuals living with a sensory processing disorder, even getting ready for work can be a challenge. Sensory processing disorders or SPDs are conditions in which the brain doesn’t organize external stimuli properly. As is the case, individuals living with SPDs may not respond or act normally to casual everyday situations. This can manifest as an oversensitivity to certain stimuli, or a lack of response thereof.
Usually, sensory processing disorders present as early as infancy and evolve over time as children begin to experience the world around them. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 1 in 20 people have some sort of sensory processing issue. SPDs can follow an individual into adulthood and may change over time.
The symptoms of SPDs can vary widely and encompass any variety or combination of senses. When we talk about senses, we’re speaking more specifically about seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling (or touching). Symptoms of SPDs fall loosely into two different categories: Over-responsiveness or under-responsiveness.
Treating sensory processing disorders is complex because each individual is different. However, the majority of treatment plans involve therapy at one level or another and more often than not, lifestyle changes. Medication isn’t usually involved in the treatment of SPDs.
While not everyone seeks treatment for sensory processing disorders, opting for therapy and lifestyle adjustments can greatly help people overcome or lessen the effects of SPDs. Many people report that as they grow into adulthood, sensory coping skills can improve especially as they become more aware of their environments, people, and develop their own routines.
At The Baddour Center, we’ve met people who come from all walks of life. We’re passionate about helping people with a variety of disabilities live fulfilling, independent lives full of friendship, enrichment, and fun. We serve as an educational resource and advocate for families who are looking to help their loved ones live their lives to the fullest! For more information, contact us or schedule a tour.