How to Treat Sensory Processing Disorder

Treatment may include a “sensory diet” wherein activities are introduced in a gentle, fun way in order to ease into a range of sensations. This approach is most effective with patients who practice at home. Depending on the senses affected, therapy may also include:

  • Physical therapy using a sensory integration approach (PT-SI)
  • Vision therapy to improve eye-motor skills for people who have trouble reading, merging into traffic, or writing
  • Listening therapy (LT), which asks people with auditory issues to listen to a variety of sound frequencies and patterns to stimulate the brain while doing other motor tasks like walking on a balance beam
  • Psychotherapy for people who have developed a mood disorder or anxiety because of SPD
  • Speech and language therapy

The goal of all these therapies is to improve everyday life skills including:

  • How you touch and are touched
  • How you move and are moved
  • Bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body together)
  • Eye motor skills (how you read/watch a ball coming towards you)

Both occupational therapy and LT use principles of the theory of neuroplasticity, which contends that the brain can change based on experience. For some, it involves years of therapy; others need less therapy to manage symptoms.
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