Last week we talked about the American Academy of Pediatrics cautioning physicians against using Sensory Processing Disorder as a stand alone diagnosis. Their concern is that in doing so, one might miss some of the many co-morbid conditions associated with difficulty processing sensory input (ASD, ADHD, or other anxiety disorders).
We heard from many people who voiced concern for those children who do not exhibit symptoms other than trouble processing sensory input and their likely difficult time receiving services without a diagnosis since they wouldn’t fit into a category of ASD or ADHD. One follower suggested that we’d likely see a rise in the number of Autism cases since doctors and therapists will need to label kids with something in order to get them the sensory integration therapies they need.
The AAP stated that there wasn’t enough data and research to support the results of sensory integration therapy. However, Lucy Jane Miller, the executive director of the Sensory Processing Foundation and STAR (Sensory Therapies and Research) Center, wrote a very poignant reply to the AAP’s new guidelines. She says there are 85,000 hits per day on the SPD Foundation’s website of people looking for information about the disorder, proving that information is sought and needed. Ms. Miller cites studies and experiences to prove the worthiness of sensory integration therapy and the need to provide these therapies for children suffering from sensory processing problems.
You can read her response in its entirety here.