Go to Parents.com to learn more about this condition.
Most of us know the basics of how the brain works and that it processes information that it gets from the five senses and acts accordingly. This is what allows people to put together complicated systems in a factory and what allows people to decide what they like in terms of food and decor. But, you might not understand what it means when your brain is not able to process this information correctly. This is called Sensory Processing Disorder and is something that affects millions of people throughout the world.
Scientists have compared SPD to a traffic jam that happens in the brain when sensory signals come in. This keeps certain parts of the brain from processing the information that it needs in the correct way and that can mean that a person can have all kinds of difficulties when it comes to working or just getting around their own home. Some of the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder are clumsiness with motor functions, anxiety, depression, behavioural problems, and having difficulty learning in school. A child with SPD might have more anxiety and panic at the dentist for instance. Many have a fear of the dentist but a person with SPD could face a full blown panic attack when it is time to visit the dentist or a root canal for example.
There are some studies that say that one out of every twenty children is affected by SPD in some way. There are others that believe that as many as one in six have at least a mild case of this disorder and experience some of the symptoms. It is something that can affect people with only one of their senses or be an issue with all five. So, while you might have trouble with the visual aspect, you might have no trouble with processing things that deal with touch or hearing. Some people have overly sensitive reactions while others will not react sensitively enough.
Like with many other conditions dealing with brain function, the causes of SPD are still unknown. However, there are ways of dealing with this condition and living a normal life. While you might have to alter some things at school and around your home, you should remember that people with this condition are just as smart and capable as their peers. It is sometimes found that they are gifted in some way. They just need to find ways of processing sensory information in a way that works for them.