Sensory Processing Disorder

A skeptical look at medical practices
Kal
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:08 pm

Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby Kal » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:18 pm

I'll admit, I am not familur with this diagnosis. My nephew, who is autistic, was recently diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. I have never heard of this diagnosis, and it seems like many other people haven't either. The literature on this disorder seems to be mostly written by occupational therapists.

I went to one of his occupational therapy sessions and the treatment for this disorder seemed to be the following; spinning him around on a swing, playing in a ball pit, playing with putty, squeezing him between things, swinging, playing with shaving cream, hiding in a pillow case... Would doing these things really cure the disorder? Couldn't the parents do all this with their child at home instead of paying for therapy to do it?

I was also told that progress in therapy is very slow and can take several months. Is the progress really due to therapy or the kid just maturing?

What are everyone's thoughts on this disorder?

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 27093
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Wild animal
Location: Transcona

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby Gord » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:19 am

"Sensory processing disorder" simply implies that he has trouble understanding his sensations.

All the activities they get him to do involve some sensory input. Spinning him in circles is one way of "challenging" his system to reinterpret the input it's been receiving. All I can give are analogies, really, but imagine if you've been looking at a wall for so long that you now think it's white even though it's blue. Whenever your eyes see blue, your brain will might interpret it as white. But if you "jazz up" your perception somehow, such as by blinking a lot, you will be re-sending those signals through your system in an effort to get your brain to re-evaluate the information it's been processing and change its "opinion" from "that wall is white" back to "hey, I just realized, all this time, that wall's been blue!"

Therapy costs money. Sure, you could do it at home, but do you know when to stop, how to encourage the results you want, or even what repetitive tasks work best at "resetting" his sensory input system? In a similar vein, you could also do your own plumbing, cut your own hair, make your own beer, or repair your own car. If you know what you're doing, it's a good idea.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

User avatar
OlegTheBatty
Has More Than 9K Posts
Posts: 9898
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:35 pm
Custom Title: Uppity Atheist

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:22 am

Kal wrote:I'll admit, I am not familur with this diagnosis. My nephew, who is autistic, was recently diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. I have never heard of this diagnosis, and it seems like many other people haven't either. The literature on this disorder seems to be mostly written by occupational therapists.

I went to one of his occupational therapy sessions and the treatment for this disorder seemed to be the following; spinning him around on a swing, playing in a ball pit, playing with putty, squeezing him between things, swinging, playing with shaving cream, hiding in a pillow case... Would doing these things really cure the disorder? Couldn't the parents do all this with their child at home instead of paying for therapy to do it?

I was also told that progress in therapy is very slow and can take several months. Is the progress really due to therapy or the kid just maturing?

What are everyone's thoughts on this disorder?

This article gives some insight into the neurophysiological processes whose malfunction manifests as SPD.

The article is mostly on the neuroscience. About all it has to say about trreatment is:

Although occupational therapists have been treating individuals with SPD for nearly half a century, early studies examining the effectiveness of occupational therapy with a sensory integration approach were fraught with methodological problems (Bailey, 1978; Jenkins et al., 1983; Huff and Harris, 1987). A rigorous randomized clinical trial comparing occupational therapy with a sensory integration approach to an active placebo and a passive placebo was recently conducted (Miller et al., 2007b). The findings suggest that the sensory integration approach is significantly more effective in remediating functional difficulties identified by parents in children with SPD-SOR as well as in improving social/cognitive deficits. Studies measuring the differential treatment effectiveness with various clinical conditions are yet to be completed.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

There is no statement so absurd that it has not been uttered by some philosopher. - Cicero

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 27093
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Wild animal
Location: Transcona

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby Gord » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:02 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:A rigorous randomized clinical trial comparing occupational therapy with a sensory integration approach to an active placebo and a passive placebo was recently conducted (Miller et al., 2007b). The findings suggest that the sensory integration approach is significantly more effective in remediating functional difficulties identified by parents in children with SPD-SOR as well as in improving social/cognitive deficits.

Groovy, thanks for that. My sister used to be involved in that stuff, she'll be interested in it.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

Norma_Ann
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:57 am

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby Norma_Ann » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:08 am

Dear Skepticists

My mom was told that my younger brother Jon was diagnosed with some SPD behavior issues. I don't live with them anymore, but I find it hard to believe. However, my parents wants him to participate in some Sensory Therapies - "alternative", e.g. music-based methods. I've tried to found some information about it, like http://www.sensory-therapies.com/, but I'm not a doctor or proffesional and I just don't know what to think. Is it helpful? He's only 7.

User avatar
Cadmusteeth
Regular Poster
Posts: 652
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:43 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby Cadmusteeth » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:17 am

Norma_Ann wrote:Dear Skepticists

My mom was told that my younger brother Jon was diagnosed with some SPD behavior issues. I don't live with them anymore, but I find it hard to believe. However, my parents wants him to participate in some Sensory Therapies - "alternative", e.g. music-based methods. I've tried to found some information about it, like http://www.sensory-therapies.com/, but I'm not a doctor or proffesional and I just don't know what to think. Is it helpful? He's only 7.

What's helpful or not depends on the individual in question because not everyone with the diagnosis has the exact same symptoms. See what his symptoms are and then apply accordingly.

User avatar
scrmbldggs
Has No Life
Posts: 15753
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 7:55 am
Custom Title: something
Location: sees Maria Frigoris from its house!

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:46 am

Don't know a thing about it, but maybe you can find someone to talk to here: http://www.wpspublish.com/store/Training/TherapistIndex

Wish you all the best.

User avatar
Gord
Real Skeptic
Posts: 27093
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:44 am
Custom Title: Wild animal
Location: Transcona

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby Gord » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:41 pm

Norma_Ann wrote:Dear Skepticists

My mom was told that my younger brother Jon was diagnosed with some SPD behavior issues. I don't live with them anymore, but I find it hard to believe. However, my parents wants him to participate in some Sensory Therapies - "alternative", e.g. music-based methods. I've tried to found some information about it, like http://www.sensory-therapies.com/, but I'm not a doctor or proffesional and I just don't know what to think. Is it helpful? He's only 7.

Is it called "auditory integration training"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auditory_ ... n_training

Auditory integration training (AIT), is a procedure pioneered in France by Guy Bérard, who promoted it as a cure for clinical depression and suicidal tendencies, along with what he said were very positive results for dyslexia and autism, although there has been very little empirical evidence regarding this assertion. It typically involves 20 half-hour sessions over 10 days listening to specially filtered and modulated music. It was used in the early 1990s as a treatment for autism; it has been promoted as a treatment for ADHD, depression, and a wide variety of other disorders. AIT has not met scientific standards for efficacy that would justify its use as a treatment for any condition.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and three other professional organizations consider it an experimental procedure. The New York State Department of Health recommends that it not be used to treat young children with autism. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the Audiokinetron, the original device used to perform AIT, from importation into the U.S. due to lack of evidence of medical benefit. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has concluded that AIT has not met scientific standards for safety.

That's some mighty poor recommendations, there.

There's a lot of positive stuff on the internet about it, but it's mostly from anecdotal evidence being exaggerated beyond believability. For instance, there's the book The Sound Of A Miracle by Annabel Stehli, the build-up for which reads: https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Miracle-In ... 0825305330

The Sound of a Miracle is the riveting story of Gergiana Stehli's triumphant progress from autistic and functionally retarded to gifted. When mothers from all over the country contacted Annabel and told their stories, she put them in touch with one another, forming The Parent's Network, and inspired them to do as she had done: to defy the negative prognoses of the experts and to fight for their children with Autism, Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD), Attention Deficit and Central Auditory Processing Disorder ( ADD and CAPD), Dyslexia, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. In curing Georgie's painful hearing, her most distressing symptom, a new intervention called auditory training made it possible for her to enjoy communication and to excel academically. There are many Georgies now, ready to take their place among their peers without a label, with a future as bright as any child's. The interest sparked by The Sound of a Miracle resulted in the founding of The Gerogiana Organization, the validation of auditory training as a thoroughly researched treatment modality, and avalability worldwide.

That's just not true. The "validation of auditory training" has not been thoroughly researched. Claims of this kind are similar to, and about as useful as, antivaccination claims from Jenny McCarthy. Don't believe 'em.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

Kevin Levites
Poster
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:47 am
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

Re: Sensory Processing Disorder

Postby Kevin Levites » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:48 am

I'm a high-functioning autistic person myself, and I have a unique perspective on this issue...which is very difficult for neurotypical people to understand.

The closest comparison that I could make is to compare autistic sensory issues to drug use (and abuse). If you have ever been hung over and tried to function at work, you have probably noticed that the lights were too bright and caused considerable discomfort...as did abrupt sounds, etc..

If you have ever had experience with heroin and/or methamphetamine abusers, you have seen them pick incessantly at their skin, and you may have heard cocaine abusers complaining about "coke bugs" that are crawling all over their skin.

As an autistic person, I've had to deal with this most of my life. Perhaps of more interest is how these issues have screwed up my relationships with my family, friends, and employers. It would be difficult, for example, for the average person to complete schoolwork in a loud discothech with flashing lights and loud music, yet that is exactly the kind of environment that home and school were to me.

It is very difficult to wear business attire when one has to deal with autism sensory issues, so imagine sitting for an interview or business meeting when it feels like you have millions of bugs crawling all over your skin.

If society was serious about accomodating the handicapped...baggy, well-worn clothes, subdued lighting, and a peaceful environment would allow a lot if autistic people to be more successful than they are.
"I'm allergic to B.S., and I think I need some Benadryl."


Return to “Healthcare”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest