Sensory Integration And Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory integration is the capacity of an individual to receive, process, and make sense of information provided by the senses.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), formerly known as “sensory integration dysfunction”) is a condition that exists when sensory signals don’t get organized into appropriate responses.

Sensory Integration or Integrative Therapy is designed to provide various sensory experiences to help the individual with autism spectrum disorder elicit a more adaptive response to sensory challenges. In other words, how to cope with his or her sensory problems and sensitivities.

So a person with hypersensitive hearing may cope better with loud or unexpected noises. A person with poor discrimination of sounds may be able to distinguish between more subtle differences in tone.

As most of this web site is going to be based on my personal experiences as a mother of a young child on the Autistic Spectrum. However, you must remember that not all children with autism spectrum disorders have sensory processing difficulties and careful assessment is required before starting any type of therapy.
I was already aware that not only is my son on the Autistic Spectrum but he is on the side where he has heightened sensory issues to the extreme that he is a child clearly with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. I discovered this when I visited an Occupational Therapist who happened to specialise in Sensory Integration Issues. She asked me to read a book about Sensory Integration and on reading this book I discovered that my son had these sensory integration problems. However, I asked my Paeiatrician to refer me to see an Occupational Therapist and I then went on to see an Occupational Therapist through the NHS who really did not understand what I was talking about and my son was discharged from occupational therapy! So it is very important that an Occupational Therapist who has sensory integration specialty sees the person affected.

My child along with many children on the Autistic Spectrum does frequently encounter problems with their sense of smell, touch, hearing and taste. Some with their site too.
My son has a very strong sense of smell and can smell certain foods and odours even before I can smell them. His hearing (although when he was younger had a few hearing problems) is quite remarkable. This can also be coupled with difficulties in movement, coordination and sensing where one’s body is in a given space.
My son currently is constantly hugging and squeezing me and his other family members much more. he is craving for tight hugs.
Reading books on sensory integration has led me to believe that this is a very common disorder for individuals with neurological conditions such as an autistic spectrum disorder.
It has been said that individuals may be overly sensitive to certain textures, sounds, smells and tastes, while wearing certain fabrics, tasting certain foods, or normal everyday sounds may cause discomfort.
The opposite to overly sensitive is also possible. My child for example, feels very little pain and actually enjoys sensations that neurotypical children would dislike such as being squeezed very tightly and with hugging with great strength. My son enjoys intense cold feelings such as eating and touching freezing ice (yes!) and especially loves to eat snow. This reminds me of one of the scenes from “Snow Cake” where the Autistic woman loved to eat snow!

The reason for all of this is that the brain seems unable to balance the senses appropriately in cases of Sensory Integration Dysfunction. The brain may not be able to filter out background stimuli yet admit what is important, so the individual may have to deal with overwhelming amounts of sensory input day and night.

Sensory Integration Therapy for Children
This involves occupational therapy with the child placed in a room specifically designed to stimulate and challenge all of the senses. During the session, the therapist works closely with the child to encourage movement within the room. The therapy is driven by four main principles:

1 Just Right Challenge (the child must be able to meet the challenges through playful activities)
2 Adaptive Response (the child adapts behavior to meet the challenges presented)
3 Active Engagement (the child will want to participate because the activities are fun)
4 Child-directed (the child’s preferred activities are used in the session).

Children with lower sensitivity (hyposensitivity) may be exposed to strong sensations, while children with heightened sensitivity (hypersensitivity) may be exposed to quieter activities. Treats and rewards may be used to encourage children to tolerate activities they would normally avoid.
For more information on Sensory Integration Dysfunction, see the Sensory Integration Therapy Guidelines for children with heightened sensitivity
These guidelines may help in more appropriate touch with autistic children who have hypersensitivity: The child finds it easier to initiate hugging than receive it. Touch is more tolerable when the child anticipates

My son also likes the feeling of tactile sensation include water, rice, beans and sand. Children on the autism spectrum often enjoy a sense of firm overall pressure. I do wrap up my son with a blanket or his quilt and he really enjoys this sensatio with pillows, blankets and firm hugs.

Proprioceptive system
The Proprioceptive System helps children (and adults) to locate their bodies in space. Autistic children often have have poor proprioception and will need help to develop their coordination.
Vestibular system
The Vestibular system is located in the inner ear. It responds to movement and gravity and is therefore involved with our sense of balance, coordination and eye movements. 

The above post was written after reading an inspiring article from

I hope this helps some parents who have a child like mine with hypersensitivity or heightened sensitivity. I wish that it enables you to understand why certain individuals do things such as squeezing and tight hugging. Ouch! Never mind, I am his mother after all.

To Learn more about Sensory Processing Disorder, please visit this site, click here

To all carers, mothers, relatives and people affected by autism


GI Problems and Autism Children Link

Gastrointestinal (GI) Problems and Autistic Children Link

As you my be aware the alarming statistics in there are that about 1 in 110 children who has autism in the USA. Estimated prevalence rate of autism is around 1 in 100 as a best estimate of the prevalence in children in the UK.
No prevalence studies have ever been carried out on adults.

Not only is there concern about this ever alarming statistic, which seems to be increasing over time. Only a couple of years ago it was 1 in 166 children has autism.
Parents of teenagers, who have autism spectrum disorder, many times have reported that their teenage children suffer gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as constipation and diarrohea.
New research confirms that almost half of the children with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) have such symptoms of gastrointestinal related problems. I myself, who is writing this post, have a son who is on the autistic spectrum disorder who has suffered from gastrointestinal problems (noticed) since he was 2 years old. Problems such as severe constipation, a lot of wind, not so much diarrohea, but gastrointestinal problems for definite.
My son has been on Lactulose for 3-4 years and now I am trying Movical (paediatric suspension) to aid with relieving his severe constipation. However, these gastrointestinal problems really need to be be addressed more by the child’s physician and/or paediatrician.

Back to the study. The study was conducted by the Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network. The actual study involved autistic 1,185 children, and the study found those gastrointestinal symptoms worsen as a child grows older.
Study Findings:
At the time of enrollment, 45 percent of the children had GI symptoms.
Older children reported symptoms more often than younger children (perhaps because they could explain them better)
39 percent of those under 5 years of age versus 51 percent of kids 7 years and older.
GI symptoms were also linked to sleep problems.
70 percent of kids with GI symptoms also suffered sleep problems compared to 30 percent who didn’t have GI symptoms.
My son suffers from sleep problems again since he was a toddler, even a baby. He is on medication to aid him with his sleep.
“These findings suggest that better evaluation of GI symptoms and subsequent treatment may have benefits for these patients,” Daniel Coury, M.D., medical director of the ATN and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at The Ohio State University, was quoted as saying. “Primary care physicians and specialists should ask families about these symptoms and address these as part of the overall management plan for the child or adolescent with ASD.” I totally agree with this statement.
Source: Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting, May 1-4, 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia

Let’s spread Autism Awareness together.

Need Help and Advice in Autism Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Autism

You may have visited this site as you may have searched for answers on what the Signs and Symptoms of Autism are in Children and infants.

You have definitely come to the right web page and you even wish to subscribe to the RSS feed to keep updated on posts and entries that will be updated regularly.

As a mother of An Autistic child, I was seeking the answers to many questions on what I need to do now that my Child has Autism or has been diagnosed with Autism. Even if as a mother or parent you instinctively know that your child or loved one is displaying something different than his/her peers and just want too find out more.
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Autism Rates Soar

Autism Rates Soar – Alarming Statistics

New Government Statistics reveal up to 1 in 91 children? Is this Really the Case?

The number of reported cases for Autism Diagnosis are on the rise and are hitting record levels.
But the Media are reporting whether this rise and validity in the actual numbers is a valid one.

Watch this short Video from a American Channel Newsie and decide for yourself.

What happens if this statistic is true?

More Autism Awareness and Discovering what the Signs And Symptoms of Autism Are is a start?

Please feel free to Leave Comments.

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Signs and Symptoms Of Autism

Signs and Symptoms of Autism

Signs and Symptoms of Autism in Children

Concerned About A Person or Someone You Know Who May Be Displaying An Odd Behaviour, not communicating, not talking, having severe tantrums, no eye contact?

Do You Want to know what the Signs and Symptoms of Autism to look out for?

YOU have definitely come to the great and relevant website to Discover How to Identify Some of the Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism in Children.  



  1. Difficulty in expressing needs
  2. Little or no smiling
  3. At 1 year: no babbling, no pointing or these have stopped
  4. At 16 months: no words or words have disappeared
  5. At 2 years: no phrases or phrases have dropped
  6. Prefers to be alone; aloof manner
  7. Displays odd play such as playing with doors, fixated with spinning objects, stacking toys, lining up toys or more focused on part of a toy
  8. Child likes playing on their own – solitary play
  9. Repetitive behaviour
  10. Repeating words or phrases in place of normal responsive language. Even echolalia
  11. Laughing or showing distress for reasons not apparent to others
  12. Unexplainable excessive crying
  13. Aggression which is unexplained
  14. Little or no eye contact
  15. Not using age appropriate words to communicate
  16. Enjoys movement and is calmer when rocking, swinging or jumping or shaking body or head
  17. Over sensitive to certain sounds such as vacuum cleaner sounds, dog barking, lawnmower
  18. Self injurious behaviour such as head banging may be present
  19. Flapping hands, tiptoeing or biting
  20. Resisting change to set routines
  21. Delay in spoken language
  22. Completely indifferent to others feelings and there are more ….
However, just because your child may be exhibiting some of these Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism, does not necessarily mean that it is Autism.

PLEASE DO NOT be alarmed, seek Medical Advice from a Doctor or Paediatrician as soon as possible.

Do not delay even if you’re unsure, it may just be a developmental delay or some other developmental disorder and may not be an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Even saying this, Autism is not a curse and it does turn out that the person is diagnosed with Autism. Remember, Autism is just a different way of understanding the world  for the person affected by autism and their family and people around the person affected by autism need to understand to help them.
Just in case you want to know about My Story:

I have an amazing son, Alex, who was diagnosed with Autism at the very young age of only 2 1/2 years old. He exhibited most of the signs and symptoms of autism that I have listed above. 

I have first hand experience of dealing with an Autistic child and Autism, both from a parent’s point of view and life experience.  I’m writing from my life experience of living and caring for an autistic child. I can give you pointers as to what to look out for to spot the Signs and Symptoms of Autism in children at an early age and stage. This is because, I believe that early diagnosis of Autism AND early intervention is the key to success in helping the person affected by Autism. I am not offering a cure and on my website I do not wish to offer a cure. I believe, that there are forms of autism that are induced by diet, however, I do not think that these diets do not cure the autsim but the signs and symptoms of autism are relieved. This is my own personal opinion, I do not wish to offend or upset anyone who thinks differently.

So What is Autism?

Autism means living in one’s own world. Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a brain or developmental disorder that affects a way a person understands the world.
It nearly always begins in childhood under the age of three. Autism is also referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder or ASD, Autistic Spectrum Condition or ASC, Autism, Aspergers (high functioning Autism) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Every child on the Autism Spectrum is affected differently and is different in most respects. The child has unique challenges, differing symptoms and varying degrees of abilities.
 A child’s development is affected by the way it communicates or chooses not to communicate, limited or no eye contact, the child has different ways of playing with its toys (for example lining up toys, interested in certain toys), repetitive behaviour such as playing with doors, and limited interaction with other people. These are just some of the Signs and Symptoms of Autism. These are not limited to the behaviours of autistic children. They love routine and structure as it makes sense and any interrruptions to these routines can cause havoc, especially in the younger days.
Usually and autistic person or child displays three main characteristics. These are problems with their language in term of communication, displaying stereotypical behaviours and limited social interaction with others.
These 3 characteristics are usually referred to as the “triad of impairments” and are key characteristics to the Signs and Symptoms of Autism.
 Autism Awareness and Understanding of Autism Needs To Be Addressed as it is now affecting a lot more people around the world in one way or another. Recent research suggests 1 in 150 in the UK.

Spread the word about Autism and what it means to be Autistic.

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What is Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – Signs and Symptoms of ASD  





A child’s development is affected by the way it communicates or chooses not to communicate, limited or no eye contact, the child has different ways of playing with its toys (for example lining up toys, interested in certain toys), repetitive behaviour such as playing with doors, and limited interaction with other people. These are just some of the Signs and Symptoms of Autism. The’re not limited to the behaviours of autistic children, who love routine and structure, as it makes sense and any interrruptions to these routines can cause havoc, especially in the earlier days.  

Usually and autistic person or child displays three main characteristics. These are problems with their language in term of communication, displaying stereotypical behaviours and limited social interaction with others. These 3 characteristics are usually referred to as the “triad of impairments” and are key characteristics to the Signs and Symptoms of Autism.   


  Signs and Symptoms of Autism

Autism Awareness and understanding of Autism needs to be addressed as it is now affecting a lot of people and families around the world in one way or another. Recent research suggests 1 in 150 in the UK.  


Signs and Symptoms of Autism – Autism Awareness  

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Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD)

The term “PDD” is widely used by professionals to refer to children with autism and related disorders; however, there is a great deal of disagreement and confusion among professionals concerning the PDD label. Diagnosis of PDD, including autism or any other developmental disability, is based upon the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association (Washington, DC, 1994), and is the main diagnostic reference of mental health professionals in the U.S.

According to the DSM-IV, the term “PDD” is not a specific diagnosis, but an umbrella term under which the specific diagnoses are defined.

Diagnostic labels are used to indicate commonalities among individuals. The key defining symptom of autism that differentiates it from other syndromes and/or conditions is substantial impairment in social interaction (Frith, 1989). The diagnosis of autism indicates that qualitative impairments in communication, social skills, and range of interests and activities exist. As no medical tests can be performed to indicate the presence of autism or any other PDD, the diagnosis is based upon the presence or absence of specific behaviors. For example, a child may be diagnosed as having PDD-NOS if he or she has some behaviors that are seen in autism, but does not meet the full criteria for having autism. Most importantly, whether a child is diagnosed with a PDD (like autism) or a PDD-NOS, his/her treatment will be similar.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. As a spectrum disorder, the level of developmental delay is unique to each individual. If a diagnosis of PDD-NOS is made, rather than autism, the diagnosticians should clearly specify the behaviors present. Evaluation reports are more useful if they are specific and become more helpful for parents and professionals in later years when reevaluations are conducted.

Ideally, a multidisciplinary team of professionals should evaluate a child suspected of having autism. The team may include, but may not be limited to, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a speech pathologist and other medical professionals, including a developmental pediatrician and/or neurologist. Parents and teachers should also be included, as they have important information to share when determining a child’s diagnosis.

In the end, parents should be more concerned that their child find the appropriate educational treatment based on their needs, rather than spending too much effort to find the perfect diagnostic label. Most often, programs designed specifically for children with autism will produce greater benefits, while the use of the general PDD label can prevent children from obtaining services relative to their needs.

Also within each diagnosis is the Autism Society’s Panel of Professional Advisors’ recommended definition of the autism spectrum and related syndromes and conditions, which is not to be used for research purposes but rather for defining the demographics of the Autism Society’s membership. The Autism Society is not attempting to represent individuals with related syndromes or conditions who do not also have autism, but rather those where autism is present in related syndromes and conditions, and where autism is the defining syndrome (e.g., autism-Asperger’s). The rationale for this position is due to the unique service needs that are imperative for individuals with autism that may not be required of the cohort disability. (See also “General Standards of Care for Individuals with Autism Throughout the Lifespan.”)

The above was taken from the Autism Society of America . Please visit this site for more details on PDD and Autism.

Pervasive Development Disorder Assessment – PDD

There is a really good website that has a The PDD Assessment Scale/ Screening Questionnaire
It allows you to carry out a PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder) Assessment.

Note it is an experimental screening tool that requires a traditionally established PDD diagnosis.

Please go and visit the site to do an initial assessment. It won’t cost you anything to give you an idea about PDD related to Autism.

Autism Key

This an excellent website that has lots of information and resources for parents and parent of an Autistic Spectrum disorder including Pervasive Development Disorder.

It is run by parents and was created as a resource tool for parents to support provide encouragement and learn from each others challenges.

There is Information, Resources, News, Videos, Autism Message Boards, Autism support and much more.

It really is an excellent website to support you and your loved one.