Close
Language?
English
Español
Sensory processing issues

4 Common Myths About Sensory Processing Issues

By The Understood Team

2.4kFound this helpful

Sensory processing issues can be a confusing topic. Here are common myths about sensory processing issues and the facts that debunk them.

2.4kFound this helpful
young girl lying on the floor putting on her socks
1 of 4

Myth #1: Kids with sensory processing issues are just being difficult.

Fact: Kids with sensory processing issues can be fussy and get angry for no apparent reason. For example, they might throw a fit or appear anxious in a noisy restaurant. Or they might refuse to wear certain clothing or brush their hair. This is usually the result of hypersensitivity to sound, touch and other senses, though, rather than an act of rebellion.

It might seem like kids with sensory processing issues are just trying to push buttons—especially if you’re a parent dealing with these behaviors every day. But they’re not. Learn about common triggers for kids with sensory processing issues.

young child climbing to the top of a bunk bed
2 of 4

Myth #2: Kids with sensory processing issues are hypersensitive all the time.

Fact: Although being hypersensitive is a common sign of sensory processing issues, kids with these difficulties can also be hyposensitive (undersensitive). This means they may show little or no reaction to heat, cold, pain and other sensations.

This can be scary for parents. Kids with hyposensitivity might inadvertently find themselves in dangerous situations—like touching surfaces that could burn them. Remember, too, that this isn’t an either-or situation. Kids with sensory processing issues can be both hypo- and hypersensitive, going back and forth between the two behaviors.

young boy covering his ears in the classroom
3 of 4

Myth #3: “Sensory processing issues” is just another name for ADHD.

Fact: They’re separate issues, but it’s common for kids to struggle with both. Sometimes parents notice sensory processing issues first, and that ultimately leads them to a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But it’s important to keep in mind that not every child with sensory processing issues has ADHD, and not every child with ADHD has sensory processing issues.

mother comforting her young daughter
4 of 4

Myth #4: Sensory processing issues are a form of autism spectrum disorder.

Fact: Sensory processing issues are not a form of autism spectrum disorder. However, many kids with autism have sensory processing issues. But that doesn’t mean every child who’s overly sensitive to stimulation—like the sound of a vacuum cleaner or the feel of a scratchy sweater—has autism. Researchers are still trying to determine what causes sensory processing issues.

Start the slideshow again

12 Museums With Sensory-Friendly Accommodations for Kids

A trip to a museum can offer family fun and learning. However, for kids with sensory processing issues, a busy museum can be overwhelming. To help, some museums are providing more sensory-friendly experiences. Here are 12 museums in U.S. cities doing just that. One may be near you, so take a look and consider planning a visit.

5 Tough Situations for Kids With Sensory Processing Issues

Kids with sensory processing issues can be oversensitive to their surroundings, undersensitive, or both. And what triggers a negative reaction for one child might have no impact on another. Here are some common trouble spots for kids with sensory processing issues.

About the Author

Understood Team Graphic

The Understood Team

The Understood team is composed of passionate writers, editors and community moderators, many of whom have children with learning and attention issues.

More by this author

Reviewed by Laura Tagliareni, Ph.D. Feb 07, 2014 Feb 07, 2014

Did you find this helpful?

Comments

What’s New on Understood

facebook
twitter
pinterest
googleplus
email