Sensory Processing Disorder–What will my child’s future be?

When a child’s sensory issues are severe enough to interfere with learning, socializing, and functioning in her world, a parent can’t help but wonder what the future holds. What limitations will the child with SPD have? When a child is first diagnosed, even if there are no other comorbid conditions, parents will often experience a sense of relief (“THAT’S what’s going on! There’s a name for it!”) but also a sense of grief, because their vision of a “perfect” child has been shattered. We are told what we can do to help–get the child to a pediatric occupational therapist who is trained and experienced in helping children with sensory processing disorder, set up a sensory diet of activities, and so on. But what about down the road? How effective will interventions be?

I believe that the moment you choose to develop sensory smarts and address your child’s sensory issues is a crucial turning point in your life and the life of your child. From that moment, it gets better. And you may be very surprised by what your child is able to do with love, patience, encouragement, a sensory diet, OT, and any other therapies or accommodations she needs. Here’s an uplifting story of a girl whose tactile issues due to SPD nearly kept her from achieving her dream but who, with the help of her parents and some accommodations, was able to reach her goal of becoming a ballerina.

So often, we are forced to see our child’s problems but rarely are we encouraged to look at their wonderful qualities. Kids with SPD have challenges, but their perseverance, creativity in finding solutions, and can-do attitude can be deeply inspiring to all of us. Yes, they have bad days like everyone does, and they doubt themselves, but when it comes to finding a way to make their dreams come true… you just never know what they will pull off.



Filed under prognosis for kids with SPD, sensory integration dysfunction, sensory processing disorder

3 responses to “Sensory Processing Disorder–What will my child’s future be?

  1. jenstate

    I could not agree more! My daughter has SPD – she has severe auditory defensiveness, tactile defensiveness, and vestibular issues. She is an avoider. But when we work on situations that bother her, she tries so hard and is so brave! If your child has SPD, don’t shelter them – get them out in the world and teach them to cope. Here are some websites that have helped us find the right help for her: – education for neurobehavioral disorders – auditory therapy – traditional OT

    • Sapna K

      My almost 5 year was recently diagnosed. Completed OT evaluation and lined up OT and incorporated sensory diet. It’s a sense of relief, guilt , confusion and overwhelm. I see your assuring post and was wondering 6 years later – how has your journey been. Any words of wisdom for a clueless and anxious parent who hopes dearly that DS has a long, happy and fulfilling life.

      • I’m glad you are feeling that a page has turned and you are into a new chapter, Sapna. I actually am 10 years past where I was when I was writing the book and my son is a teen and doing beautifully. He has great clarity about his future plans, is doing well socially and in school, and his sensory processing differences are key to his strengths as a person as well as being key to his chosen course of study at college. I’m speaking more and more about this paradox of the sensory differences being a person’s strengths. We touched on this at the end of Raising a Sensory Smart Child–there really is so much hope that you will look back someday and say, “I’m glad my child has sensory processing differences!”

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