Understanding SPD

One of the hardest things about having a child with sensory processing issues is understanding what in the world Sensory Processing actually is! Book after book, appointment after appointment, I would take in the words, but it was like they'd get lost on the way to my brain.

I'd close the book or walk out of the doctor's office feeling utterly confused and hopelessly lost. Proprioception? Motor planning? Vestibular system? Huh? I could barely spell the words let alone understand them.

My son’s physical therapist used the term “prop” (prounounced "prope") for months before I finally asked her what the heck she was talking about!


The only thing more difficult than understanding it is explaining it. I’ve said things like, “Well, he has trouble processing sensory input and it causes him to feel very dysregulated.”

Polite, confused nods mirrored the way I felt learning about SPD, too. So here’s my simple way to break it down — for you, and for anyone who asks...

Let’s start with the basics: