As reported recently in USA Today, a committee is currently putting together the update of the DSM (the book that physicians, health care professionals, and insurance companies use as their “bible” for diagnosing psychological, learning, and developmental disabilities). They are seriously considering adding SPD, that is, sensory processing disorder. Sensory issues only “exist” in the current DSM-V as a secondary characteristic of autism. Of course, 85-95 percent of children with autism have SPD but not all children with SPD have autism. Mine falls into that category.
What would having a diagnosis with a little number next to it for insurance coding do? It would legitimize this disorder and cause insurance companies to cover it (well, in theory–who knows what you can get insurance companies to cover these days?). Right now, if your child gets his OT for SPD covered, the OT using SI therapy is probably coding for a diagnosis like apraxia or fine motor delay. At as much as $100-$200 an hour for private therapy, and many school districts being without a sensory smart OT, we desperately need OT for sensory issues covered!