Saturday, April 20, 2024

Doctors warm against sensory processing disorder

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According to city-based doctors, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), a condition that affects one in every 20 individuals, is often being mis-diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

A workshop held by the Maa Research Foundation and Hear ‘N’ Say Clinic, highlighted the negative impact of inappropriate or inadequate diagnosis and therapy on children suffering from SPD, as they often do not receive the appropriate treatment during their formative years. They said that this limits their access to therapy and has long-term consequences.

Dr Garima Vegivada of the clinic, stated that there isn’t enough data on children diagnosed with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders, which leads to mis-diagnosis of many children. According to Dr Sai Krishna Vegivada, it is challenging for parents to identify the problem in their child and differentiate between ASD and SPD, leading them to presume their child’s sensory issues to be ASD. However, only an Occupational Therapist can conclusively prove it to be SPD.

The doctors said that SPD affects the way the brain processes sensory information, leading to impairments in behavior and motor function, such as balance, walking, and coordination. While SPD and ASD share some symptoms, it is important to distinguish between them, as the therapy required for each disorder is different. Occupational therapists are trained to provide therapy to children with SPD using sensory integration techniques, helping children learn to organise and make sense of the sensory information they receive.

Sunita G Kumar, Founder Chairperson of Maa Research Foundation, emphasised the need for training, quality education, and research on Sensory Processing Disorders. She says that the more we expedite this process, the more beneficial it is for people suffering from SPD in terms of accurate diagnosis and treatment.

She also said it is important for government hospitals and pediatric hospitals to be equipped with sensory integration units manned by qualified occupational therapists to deal with such conditions.

The workshop highlighted the need for training, education, and research on SPD to improve diagnosis and treatment. It also emphasised the importance of equipping hospitals with sensory integration units manned by qualified occupational therapists to handle such conditions.

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