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Sensory Processing Disorder

Last month I attended a Dietitians in Autism event where a specialist Occupational Therapist and Speech and Language Therapist shared their experiences dealing with ASD children who have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  I learnt that we have 7 ( not 5) senses and that neurotypical individuals filter out 95% of the sensory information that is constantly supplied to our brains.  SPD actually occurs when either too much or too little of this sensory information is filtered out causing under or over-responsiveness which in turn causes a range of eating / feeding difficulties.

It was interesting to hear that the central ethos is to " help parents to understand the nature of their child's ASD, rather than solve the difficulties for them ".  I thought this was especially interesting because, as practitioners, we often focus on 'fixing' the problem but actually it is fundamentally important to understand the problem.

That's not to say that there aren't lots of practical strategies that can help improve the situation but this must be done with an acceptance of each child's sensory processing capability.  With this in mind, I have reviewed the Restrictive Eater Plan to include a SPD assessment in order to make it even more effective.


If your child eats a limited range of foods and you are concerned, email Emma at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it for more advice.


Posted: January 2014

Source: Dietitians in Autism Educational & Business Meeting, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester (13th December 2013)

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