Does Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Coexist With Other Diagnoses and Struggles?

  • Sphere“Comorbidity” is when two or more “disorders” co-exist in one person, frequently inter related, and often difficult to differentiate one from another.
  • SPD scientists and parents alike are keenly interested in understanding the relationship between SPD and: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attachment Disorder (AD), Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Anxiety Disorder (AD), as well as the sensory processing deficits that coexist with many other specific diagnoses as Fragile X Syndrome, Tetra X Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, and Prader-Willi Syndrome.
  • Research indicates that 75% of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) also have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). However, the reverse is not true, in that most children with SPD do not have an autistic spectrum disorder. 
  • Studies by the SPD Foundation found that 50% of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have coexisting Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
  • There is a high correlation between Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Anxiety Disorder (AD), given that sensory sensitivities put a child/adult at higher risk of experiencing anxiety. 
  • Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors often co-exist, given that sensory sensitivities (lack of internal organization) results in a greater need for child/adult to be controlling of his/her external environment.
  • There is a high correlation between primary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and secondary Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), given that traumatic sensory stress secondarily puts a child/adult at higher risk of experiencing sensory over responsivity, sensory-avoiding, and sensory anxiety.
  • There is a high correlation between primary Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) and secondary Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), given that the disconnect from the natural world disconnects children from important sensory feedback/experience of the real world.
  • Pursuing a sensory processing evaluation by a qualified and experienced occupational therapist facilitates the understanding of if/how sensory processing struggles impact overall functioning.

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