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Help With Processing Disorders

Processing disorders, like auditory processing disorder, visual processing disorder, and sensory processing disorder are caused by a deficiency in a person’s ability to effectively use the information gathered by the senses. The issue is not the result of impaired hearing, impaired vision, attention disorders, intellectual disability, or learning deficit. If the brain cannot properly process the auditory, visual, and sensory information it receives, a child’s ability to learn and thrive in an academic setting is affected, often leading to low self-esteem and social withdrawal (1). While processing disorders are not featured in the DSM-IV as stand-alone disorders, they are widely recognized as co-morbid issues for children with developmental delays.

Types of Processing Disorders

  • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), also called central auditory processing disorder, is characterized by an inability to process, interpret, and retain what a person hears. Children with APD may struggle to understand speech in noisy environments, mix up similar speech sounds, fail to follow directions, and misunderstand verbal instruction in the classroom, all of which lead to difficulty in task completion, both at home and at school.
  • Visual Processing Disorder is characterized by an abnormality in the brain’s ability to process and interpret what the eyes see. A child with visual processing issues may struggle to differentiate between size, shape, and color of objects, confuse written symbols like those used in calculations, misjudge distance, and experience poor spatial awareness, often resulting in frequent falls or bumping into objects despite normal vision tests.
  • Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), also called sensory integration dysfunction, is a neurological difference characterized by either a hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) or hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) to one’s surroundings due to the brain’s inability to properly integrate multi-sensory input. While all children may be quirky or particular about their likes and dislikes, children with SPD are so severely affected by their sensory preferences that it interferes with normal, everyday functioning. Children with hypersensitivity to sensory input may exhibit extreme or fearful responses to touch, textures, noise, crowds, lights, and smells, even when these inputs seem benign to others. Children with hyposensitivity to sensory input may exhibit an under-reaction or high tolerance to pain, may constantly and inappropriately touch or bump into people and objects, be fidgety, and are often characterized as “thrill seekers,” leading to inadvertently putting themselves or others in danger.

To learn more about the specific symptoms of processing disorders, please refer to The National Center for Learning Disorders and The SPD Foundation.
Source: (1) National Center for Learning Disabilities

Processing Disorders and The Brain Balance Program

At Brain Balance, we view symptoms of processing disorders as part of an underlying communication issue between and within the hemispheres of the brain. This connectivity issue is referred to as functional disconnection syndrome, an imbalance in hemispheric brain communication that is at the root of many learning and developmental issues.

Once we gain an understanding of your child’s ability to process sensory input through our Comprehensive Assessment, we determine which brain processes need help. The Brain Balance Program combines individually customized sensory-motor and academic activities that address hemispheric brain connectivity to help behavioral symptoms associated with processing disorders. In addition, our nutritional guidelines are supported by published research that underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy diet to help achieve optimal brain and body function.

Help and Hope for Processing Disorders

Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to improve and change throughout a person’s lifetime, is fundamental to the Brain Balance Program. Our drug-free, integrated approach brings parents and kids together to achieve a common goal of addressing a child’s sensory processing ability, leading to a more successful academic and personal life.

If your child struggles with processing sensory input or is already considered to have a processing disorder, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.