My Sensory Shutdown Was Not a Panic Attack

My Sensory Shutdown Was Not a Panic Attack


Untethered: it’s a word I’ve often used to describe the feeling of having a sensory shutdown. It’s the moment that my ears, unable to sort through the garbled heap of auditory input, stop trying to form words and derive meaning from sound. It’s when my eyes, unable to weave together fragments of the visual whole in front of me, turn the scenery sharp with parsed, unaffiliated details. It’s the moment my body gives up its battle to make a connection, however shy and tenuous, to the physical space I’m in.

Making Sense of Your Sensory Onion

Making Sense of Your Sensory Onion


Here’s a moderately interesting piece of information: of all the adults I know of who’ve been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, I am the only one who was diagnosed as a child - in 1996, to be exact. In fact, it used to be called Sensory Integration Disorder. That’s right, there was no “P.”

This has left me in a unique position. I've had nearly 20 years to experience my life with SPD fully knowing that I had SPD. (In case you didn't know, this is not common for adults with SPD.)

When You Realize It's Not Just Your Child That Has SPD

When You Realize It's Not Just Your Child That Has SPD

When we work with families at STAR Institute, we often come across parents who just get it. Parents with SPD get what’s going on with their kids, because it’s their life, too. When we think about parents like that, Laura is someone who immediately comes to mind. Her SPD story started when her son was diagnosed with SPD at an early age. She brought him to STAR Institute before we started the teen and adult program. As she went through the process of learning about SPD and understanding her son, Laura had a realization: “This is me! Wait a minute, this is describing me!”

My SPD Diagnosis Helped Me Understand My Story

My SPD Diagnosis Helped Me Understand My Story

In September 2017, we came across an inspiring TED Talk by Jennifer Allison that made us instantaneous fans. Her ability to compose herself in a calm and organized manner while talking about sensory challenges, addiction, and joy struck us with awe. In her TED Talk, Jennifer shares her love for art and she is REALLY talented. About a week later, we had one of her prints hanging above the door of our shared office.

There Were Few Adults with SPD

There Were Few Adults with SPD

As STAR Institute therapists for the Adolescent and Adult Treatment Program, we’ve seen so many of our clients take their sensory processing challenges and use them as sensory “superpowers” and develop amazing abilities. These newly repurposed abilities have helped them succeed in work and parenting, become SPD advocates, and so on. Recently, we decided to share our own personal sensory stories.

Relationship Focused Sensory Treatment: We Shouldn't Just Treat Individuals

Relationship Focused Sensory Treatment: We Shouldn't Just Treat Individuals

I’m Carrie Einck and you know me from the STAR Institute videos on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) for adults and teens. Today, I’m sharing my story of what drove me to work with families dealing with Sensory Processing challenges and how I address sensory challenges in my own life.... (BUT don't forget to read Sarah's story too!)

My Life Path with Sensory Processing

My Life Path with Sensory Processing

I’m Sarah Norris and you probably know me from the STAR Institute videos on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Recently, we’ve been asking the adult SPD community to share their sensory stories with us so we can create more community and awareness for all. Today, I’m sharing my story of how I’ve chosen this career and how I address sensory challenges in my own life.... (BUT remember to read Carrie's story too!)

I’m Autistic: I Have a Voice

I’m Autistic: I Have a Voice


I'm Autistic and one of the most frustrating things that can happen for me is when someone decides they know better for me, than I do. When someone speaks over me. When someone ignores my opinion...

The same rule applies to Neurodiversity. If you need an opinion on Neurodiversity, why not ask the Neurodiverse person?

(Neurodiversity (ND) simply means: A fundamentally different way of thinking caused by neurology.)

Autism: A Different Sensory Experience

Autism: A Different Sensory Experience


"I need to leave because it's too loud for me here."

"But it's not that loud!"

Many autistic people have had a conversation like this. We often perceive things like sound or texture differently than others. That's because most autistic people have issues with sensory processing.

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