Under the Hood: A Guide to Understanding the Inner Workings of Children breaks down the new term SPSD which explores the intersection of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD.)


1 in 5 children will display characteristics of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) and/or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

Does your child complain about itchy clothing, tags or seams?
Is your child prone to big emotional reactions?
Does your child have a clever sense of humor?
Is your child a picky eater?
Does your child struggle with transitions?


They may have Sensory Processing Sensitivity, Sensory Processing Disorder or both!


Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is an inborn trait found in 15-20% of the population.  1 in 5 people notice subtleties, process deeply, are easily overstimulated and experience more saturated emotions. This inborn trait is not a disorder and does not require any treatment. It does, however, require a willingness on the part of professionals and parents to honor the child’s unique way of experiencing life. Some adults who are HSPs do not discover the depth of their own sensitivity until their children ‘push’ them to learn more. Because this trait is genetic typically at least one biological parent (or grandparent) is highly sensitive.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurological disorder that affects an individual’s ability to take in, process and output a response to stimulus in their environment. Children with SPD may struggle to complete daily tasks and navigate transitions. They may have challenges with eating, bathing, eliminating and developing social skills. Typically these children benefit greatly from working with a pediatric occupational therapist who helps order sensory processing through play based therapies.


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