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Sensory Dysfunction Disorder in Children: Symptoms, Treatment & Definition

Instructor: Lisa Apikos

Lisa has over 20 years experience as an instructor and has an MBA with a specialization in Organizational Psychology.

This lesson provides information on Sensory Dysfunction Disorder that will help you better understand how this dysfunction can be identified and treated.

Definition of Sensory Dysfunction Disorder

Right now, as you sit reading this lesson, all of your senses are working together to provide your brain with information on your environment. Everything around you is sending messages to your brain. The feel of the chair that you are sitting on, the sounds all around you, the images that you see, the smells that are present around you; all of these senses work together to help your brain understand what is happening at any given second in your life. With this information, your brain can process your surroundings and send back information that causes you to behave or respond appropriately.

Is it too hot right now? You may take off your jacket to respond to that sensation. Is the sun shining brightly and making you squint? You may choose to put on sunglasses or to move to another location. If you attempt to drink that cup of coffee on the table and it's too hot, you will choose to wait until it's a bit cooler. This interaction between all of your senses and the cognitive processing of your brain allows you to function, to accomplish things, and to stay safe.

However, for some people, this integration of sensory processing is disrupted. It is as if some of the messages coming in from the individual's senses are blocked or misdirected. Sensory Dysfunction Disorder is a condition that causes the sensory signals to be unorganized, missed, or exaggerated. For a person with this disorder, it is difficult to process and then respond to information coming in from the senses. Children who suffer from this condition can find it difficult, sometimes impossible, to complete even the simplest of tasks.

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