Do Sensory Processing Issues Get Better Over Time?

While anyone can have sensory processing issues, they’re commonly seen in children with developmental conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder.

This neurological condition occurs when the brain has problems receiving and responding to information it gets from the senses. As a result, someone with sensory processing issues ends up over-or under-sensitive to things they hear, see, smell, taste, or touch.

Signs of sensory processing issues often appear at a very young age, even as infants. But, since it’s a neurological condition, adults can have symptoms, too. And, in these cases, they’ve likely been present since childhood.

At Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Servicesour team relies on evidence-based applied behavior analysis to help treat disorders, including those involving the senses. These issues may not go away completely, but with time, they may decrease, and with expert care, they can be managed.

Recognizing sensory processing issues

A sensory processing disorder can impact one sense or several. They can also vary in severity from child to child. For example, one child may scream at the slightest touch, while another may recoil from certain textures. These types of over-sensitive responses can cause a child to avoid certain types of sensory input because it can be overwhelming.

On the other hand, a child who has sensory processing issues can also seem completely unresponsive to anything around them. This lack of sensitivity can cause a child to seek out more sensory stimulation through touch, physical contact, and pressure. Sometimes, it can also be hard for under-sensitive children to recognize pain in themselves or others.

Signs of sensory processing issues include:

  • Avoiding hugging or touching
  • Being easily overwhelmed by places and people
  • Searching for quiet spaces in noisy and busy environments
  • Having a strong reaction to certain food smells or textures
  • Refusing new foods or following a limited diet
  • Being easily startled by sudden noises
  • Getting upset by small changes in environment or routine
  • Spending a lot of time squirming, fidgeting, or touching objects
  • Having a high pain tolerance
  • Playing rough or taking physical risks
  • Feeling anxious or distracted a lot
  • Often invading someone else’s personal space

It’s also common for kids with sensory processing issues to have coordination issues or a harder time learning to use the toilet.

Managing sensory processing issues

There isn’t a medication or cure for sensory processing issues. However, many of these responses can lessen with age, especially if your child receives expert care and learns coping skills to manage their sensitivities.

Our team relies on applied behavior analysis, or ABA therapy. This approach involves observing, identifying, and attempting to understand the behavior involved. By capturing this information, we can create a personalized treatment strategy to help decrease the behaviors that are interfering with your child’s well-being. At the same time, we also work to increase ideal behaviors to help them achieve their full potential.

Working with kids with sensory processing issues often includes engaging them in activities that regulate sensory input. And all of our techniques rely on positive reinforcements and individualized strategies based on your child’s unique needs.

By taking this approach, we can help your child gain the tools they need to feel comfortable and confident in every environment.

Do you want to see how our team can help your child manage their sensory processing issues? To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services today.