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SPD is also known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction

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What are Some Red Flags of Sensory Processing Disorder?

by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.

Diagnosing Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is the job of an occupational therapist who has been carefully trained in sensory integrative theory and treatment. Nonetheless, a teacher and/or parent can learn to recognize signs that a child may be having sensory processing difficulties. Then, the teacher can initiate an evaluation for SPD, so the child may eventually receive appropriate therapy.

What behaviors or red flags are important? There are several screening tools parents and/or teachers can use which have been developed by OTR's:

Balzer-Martin Preschool Screening Program

At my preschool, St. Columba's Nursery School in Washington, DC, and other early childhood centers around the country, the Balzer-Martin Preschool Screening Program (BAPS) helps occupational therapists identify children with possible SPD dysfunction. The program, designed by Lynn A. Balzer-Martin Ph.D., OTR, is a nonstandardized clinical tool for the early identification of risk factors for learning and behavior problems in preschool children (3-5 years).

One part of the screening is the Sensorimotor History Questionnaire for Parents of Preschool Children. Look over these questions. You will get a sense of the behaviors that are important when determining whether a preschool child has SPD dysfunction.

About the author:

Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A., is a master educator who formerly taught movement and music classes in a preschool in Washington, DC. She is the author of the best-selling book The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Integration Dysfunction.


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