EKing.jpg


Elizabeth King BS, SLPA
S
peech Language Pathology Assistant

 

Please discuss in general processing time and how it’s related to sensory processing.

Children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) have a neurological disorder causing perceived sensory information to result in abnormal responses whereas children with auditory processing disorder (APD) have trouble with how their central nervous system processes information that may cause difficulty following directions, understanding speech in loud environments, and discriminating between speech sounds. The signs of both of these disorders and the behaviors resulting from them are sometimes similar and an individual struggling with either disorder may benefit from additional processing time. Additional processing time is exactly what it sounds like, offering more time for an individual to respond to, or process, auditory information. Even children without any sensory or auditory issues typically respond well when provided additional processing time, but additional processing time particularly helps these individuals by giving them more time to account for the changes in the way their body’s process incoming information.

How can a parent tell if their child is developing his/her processing time/sensory processing skills appropriately?

Chances are, you are aware if your child has sensory processing difficulties. Most young children are eager to explore new places and rush headlong into their world, soaking up information like sponges. Some children are naturally more cautious; however, they are still eager to learn about their surroundings. If your child withdraws from other people or has trouble going to new places, transitioning between places and activities, or exhibits an aversion to or craving for many textures and tactile experiences, he may have a sensory processing issue. For more information about signs of SPD, visit here.

Can you share tips for parents who have a child that is struggling with sensory processing?

For a child who has difficulty processing too much auditory or sensory information, giving him additional time to complete a task is essential. Simplifying and reducing your instructions may greatly help. For example, if you have a family over for dinner and need your child to complete several tasks, but his friends are running around the table shrieking and laughing, he may have trouble completing the tasks. Keeping directions simple and giving just one or two steps at a time should greatly help your child.

How can speech therapy, or other therapies, help?

Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and feeding therapy can help you and your child with sensory processing issues by providing resources and modifications to help safely and gradually reduce anxiety by building tolerance to a variety of sensory experiences.

How do you know when or if your child is ready/needs to see a speech therapist?

If you are struggling with daily life tasks such as going to the grocery store because your child has meltdowns and cannot express what is wrong. Or, if your child has difficulty in school or at home due to sensory-related concerns, a speech therapist and/or occupational therapist can help.

What to expect if your child starts therapy.

A multidisciplinary approach is best for individuals with sensory or auditory processing difficulties. This means your child may need to be evaluated by multiple professionals to see if they would benefit from speech therapy, feeding therapy, and/or occupational therapy. Therapists practicing these disciplines often work collaboratively to help meet a child’s needs. You can expect understanding instead of the all too frequent stares and quiet judgment you anticipate from people who do not understand what you and your child are going through on your sensory processing journey.    

To learn more, below are recommended references:

References are for informational purposes only and they are not intended to replace physician and/or speech therapy treatment(s).

Please discuss in general processing time and how it’s related to sensory processing.

Children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) have a neurological disorder causing perceived sensory information to result in abnormal responses whereas children with auditory processing disorder (APD) have trouble with how their central nervous system processes information that may cause difficulty following directions, understanding speech in loud environments, and discriminating between speech sounds. The signs of both of these disorders and the behaviors resulting from them are sometimes similar and an individual struggling with either disorder may benefit from additional processing time. Additional processing time is exactly what it sounds like, offering more time for an individual to respond to, or process, auditory information. Even children without any sensory or auditory issues typically respond well when provided additional processing time, but additional processing time particularly helps these individuals by giving them more time to account for the changes in the way their body’s process incoming information.

How can a parent tell if their child is developing his/her processing time/sensory processing skills appropriately?

Chances are, you are aware if your child has sensory processing difficulties. Most young children are eager to explore new places and rush headlong into their world, soaking up information like sponges. Some children are naturally more cautious; however, they are still eager to learn about their surroundings. If your child withdraws from other people or has trouble going to new places, transitioning between places and activities, or exhibits an aversion to or craving for many textures and tactile experiences, he may have a sensory processing issue. For more information about signs of SPD, visit here.

Can you share tips for parents who have a child that is struggling with sensory processing?

For a child who has difficulty processing too much auditory or sensory information, giving him additional time to complete a task is essential. Simplifying and reducing your instructions may greatly help. For example, if you have a family over for dinner and need your child to complete several tasks, but his friends are running around the table shrieking and laughing, he may have trouble completing the tasks. Keeping directions simple and giving just one or two steps at a time should greatly help your child.

How can speech therapy, or other therapies, help?

Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and feeding therapy can help you and your child with sensory processing issues by providing resources and modifications to help safely and gradually reduce anxiety by building tolerance to a variety of sensory experiences.

How do you know when or if your child is ready/needs to see a speech therapist?

If you are struggling with daily life tasks such as going to the grocery store because your child has meltdowns and cannot express what is wrong. Or, if your child has difficulty in school or at home due to sensory-related concerns, a speech therapist and/or occupational therapist can help.

What to expect if your child starts therapy.

A multidisciplinary approach is best for individuals with sensory or auditory processing difficulties. This means your child may need to be evaluated by multiple professionals to see if they would benefit from speech therapy, feeding therapy, and/or occupational therapy. Therapists practicing these disciplines often work collaboratively to help meet a child’s needs. You can expect understanding instead of the all too frequent stares and quiet judgment you anticipate from people who do not understand what you and your child are going through on your sensory processing journey.    

To learn more, below are recommended references:

References are for informational purposes only and they are not intended to replace physician and/or speech therapy treatment(s).