SPD in Adults

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Growing Up With SPD


Adolescents and adults who received and benefited from therapy in childhood may nonetheless find themselves struggling when they reach new developmental levels and/or life experiences. For example, a teenager who has adapted to the challenges of high school may leave home for college and find that living in the more chaotic setting of a dormitory triggers new symptoms. At times like these, "booster" therapy or counseling that increases self-understanding and provides strategies for adapting to the new situation is often extremely helpful.

Sensational children who are not treated in childhood often grow into adults whose daily lives continue to be affected by their inability to accurately and appropriately interpret sensory messages. These "sensational adults" may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationships, and recreation. Because adults with SPD have struggled for most of their lives, they may also experience depression, underachievement, social isolation, and/or other secondary emotional or social effects.

The goal of treatment for adults with SPD is to help them live fulfilled and happy lives. Most adults with SPD struggle because they have been misunderstood all their lives. Often, they don't even understand themselves. “Why don't I like to be with people, or go shopping, or go to movies?” Or “Why am I so clumsy?” Or “Why is it so hard for me to stick with things?” Or “Why do I feel so lethargic and unmotivated?”

Once adults receive treatment for their sensory issues, understanding grows. With direct treatment such as occupational therapy or listening therapy, changes in the way sensation is perceived take place. Strategies can be identified during treatment for avoiding or decreasing the intensity of those relationships and situations that cause failure and lead to anxiety and depression. Sensory techniques for home can be taught.


Articles about SPD in adults may be found in Our Library under "Adults and SPD.” Titles of books about SPD can be found in our Selected Bibliography for Adults with Sensory Processing Disorder.





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