In my last post I discussed sensory processing disorder, and received comments and questions from readers. I had mentioned an article in The Boston Globe that mentioned that a group of professionals and parents was lobbying to get sensory processing disorder included in the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Reader Dr. Joshua Feder wrote in to give us the link where people can provide input: "Remember, the public commenting on the upcoming DSM-V is still in process and the addition of SPDs is in flux, so if you think it is important you can make your voice heard. Go to http://www.spdfoundation.net/dsmv.html to learn more!
Sensory processing challenges is a hot topic at autism conferences and this provides me the opportunity of asking adults on the autism spectrum what we could do to make the sensory aspects of life easier for them, as well as children who may be unable to discuss what they are sensing. I have written up the answers in my book, 41 Things To Know About Autism, and I am mentioning some of them here.
It was no surprise for me to get answers such as "Ban leaf blowers," or "Don't rev your Harley near me," and "Add more water fountains to public places." The sound of water can be soothing to many and can mask some of the painful sounds of the city. There are different methods and treatments that have helped many who have sensory processing difficulties. However, there is not that much clinical research on all the diffferent treatments and therapies, so you need to choose widely what makes sense for your particular situation. The information here is not to be considered as medical advice; I am just explaining what others have said reported as helpful for their situation. Remember that what works for one person, may not for another.
There are ways to help people who have sensitivities to light and sound. The cheapest and most immediate solutions include:
Some treatments that have helped individuals include: