Constantly fidgeting and squirming. Invading personal space. Melting down in public. These can be signs of both ADHD and sensory processing issues. While they’re different issues, they have some overlap and can occur together. This table breaks down some of the key differences between ADHD and sensory processing issues.
|ADHD||Sensory Processing Issues|
|What is it?||A biological condition that makes it hard for many children to concentrate and sit still.||An over- or undersensitivity to sensory input such as sights, sounds, flavors, smells and textures.|
|Signs you may notice||
|Possible emotional and social impact||Trouble following social rules can make it hard to make and keep friends. Frequent negative feedback for acting out or not paying attention can impact self-esteem and motivation, making a child feel he’s “bad” or “no good.”||Feeling anxious in or avoiding crowded and noisy places can make it hard to socialize. Peers may avoid or exclude an undersensitive child because he plays too roughly or doesn’t respect their personal space.|
|Professionals who can help||
|What the school may provide||Accommodations under a 504 plan or IEP. Child might be eligible for an IEP under the category of “other health impairment.” Examples might include:
||Accommodations and/or occupational therapy, under a 504 plan or an IEP. Child might be eligible for an IEP under the category of “other health impairment,” especially if he also has ADHD. Examples of accommodations might include: