What is Sensory Sensitivity?

Sensory sensitivity, or Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), is a biological trait where individuals are more aware and sensitive to their environment. They process sensory information more deeply and intensely. This trait can be associated with conditions like autism, ADHD, OCD, and developmental delays.

What is Sensory Sensitivity?

Sensory sensitivity, also known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), is a biological trait that makes individuals more aware and sensitive to their environment. People with SPS process sensory information and stimuli more deeply and intensely than others. This sensitivity can be linked to various conditions such as autism, ADHD, OCD, and developmental delays.

  • Autism: Sensory issues are often considered a symptom of autism, but not everyone with sensory issues has autism.
  • ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can cause sensory issues as individuals with this condition may have trouble filtering out sensory input.
  • OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can also lead to sensory issues as individuals may be overly sensitive to certain stimuli.
  • Developmental Delays: Children with developmental delays may also experience sensory issues as their sensory processing abilities may not be fully developed.

What are the Signs of Sensory Overload?

Sensory overload can occur when an individual is overwhelmed by sensory stimuli. Signs of sensory overload can include anxiety, irritability, tantrums, restlessness, physical discomfort, an urge to cover your ears and eyes, stress, fear, panic, and high levels of excitement.

How to Deal with Sensory Overload?

There are several strategies to manage sensory overload. These include practicing self-calming exercises, getting enough sleep, managing health, reducing the number of stimulating activities, setting boundaries, and seeking help.

What is the Connection Between Sensory Sensitivity and Neurodivergence?

Neurodivergent individuals, such as those with autism or ADHD, are more likely to have sensory difficulties. Sensory sensitivities can impact all senses, but sound sensitivities are particularly common. These sensitivities are sometimes described as Decreased Sound Tolerance Disorders (DSTD), with hyperacusis and misophonia being the most frequently researched forms.

What Conditions Can Cause Sensory Hypersensitivity?

Several conditions can make individuals more susceptible to sensory hypersensitivity. These include autism, sensory processing disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Can Screen Time Affect Sensory Processing?

According to some studies, children exposed to TVs and DVDs in the first three years of life are more likely to have symptoms of atypical sensory processing disorder (SPD). The study also suggests that any amount of screen time for children under the age of two is associated with sensory differences. For every additional hour of screen exposure after 18 months, the likelihood of sensory processing disorder increases by about 20%.

What are the Types of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)?

There are several types of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). These include Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD), Sensory-based Motor Disorder (SBMD), and Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD). The causes of SPD are not fully understood, but research is exploring a potential genetic link, suggesting it could run in families. Some doctors also believe there could be a link between autism and SPD.

We're Here For Your Family!

HYM uses personalized, engaging, and transparent telemedicine practices to help children and teens up to age 21 build the strategies they need to become more resilient, self-sufficient, regulated, and functional.

Get Started Today