Poor sensory processing is a disturbance of how one interprets sensory stimuli. Sensitivity to noise, touch, light, and/or aversion to certain food textures can be quite common. Sensory seeking is common as well, as some children seek specific stimulation such as spinning, hand-flapping, staring at turning wheels, touching or rubbing against objects with a particular texture, or simply wanting to be squeezed or hugged tightly. Sensory processing challenges often contribute to annoyance and irritation. This causes problems with dressing, eating, and functioning in active environments. Some children are simply overwhelmed by noisy, crowded, or chaotic situations, or when they believe too many demands are placed upon them. Their discomfort can be so excessive to the point of shutting down or exhibiting an emotional outburst. Sensory processing challenges are often seen in children with autism, attention-deficit, developmental delays, anxiety, mood disturbance, and disorders of motor functioning. Worth noting is that sensory challenges can contribute to atypical, odd, or peculiar behaviors. As such, many children are often mistaken as having autism spectrum disorder.
Many individuals very often benefit from occupational therapy. However, it will important to consult a therapist who specialized in sensory processing challenges.