SPD and Foster/Adopt Children

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as "sensory integration dysfunction") is a condition that exists when sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses. Pioneering occupational therapist and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, likened SPD to a neurological "traffic jam" that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts may result if the disorder is not treated effectively.

Both sensory deprivation at a very early age and trauma in utero (often the introduction of drugs and alcohol) are linked to SPD, and these are conditions that many children who are adopted—especially from foster care—experience.

This site is our attempt to gather and consolidate information and resources that may benefit our Foster Adopt Community.

The best first step with any child either in or from the foster care system, is to get them a referral to an Occupation Theropist (OT) for an evaluation. The school systems are generally ill equiped for the level of evaluation needed to properly and thoroughly help the child. Early detection and treatment of SPD can have life long benefits to the child and the relationship with the foster/adoptive parents.

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SPD and You

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SPD and You is a collaboration between SHIFT and Contra Costa County Foster Family Network