Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder

Some people may over-respond or under-respond to the sensory information from their environment and body. For example, one person may find common sensations like clothing unbearable, whilst another person may show little or no reaction to stimuli like very hot water. Movement and posture may be impaired. Other people may show an over appetite for sensation. This wide range of disabilities is called Sensory Processing Disorder or Sensory Integration Dysfunction.

It is when sensory signals do not get organised into appropriate responses because the nervous system has difficulty taking in, processing and making use of the sensory information from what you can see, hear, smell, taste and feel. This causes challenges with many everyday activities. Sensory Processing Disorder can affect one sense or multiple senses. Misdiagnosis is common and often wrongly related to impairments like Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

If you have a type of Sensory Processing Disorder you may:

  • Have out-of-proportion reactions to touch, sound, sight, movement, taste or smell. You may be over-responsive to sensory stimulation, overreacting positively or negatively to particular sensations. Or you may be under-responsive to sensory stimulation, reacting too little, or needing very strong stimulus to be become aware of sensory input
  • Have poor attention and focus, showing signs of tuning out
  • Be uncomfortable or over stimulated in group settings
  • Have difficulty with self confidence and independence
  • Seek out sensory stimulation for more or stronger sensations
  • Show balance and core stability impairments
  • Have difficulty with the organisation of movement and body awareness
  • Have difficulty interpreting sensory information, such as intensity, duration, speed and timing

How we help adults with Sensory Processing Disorder 

We will spend time getting to know what your individual sensory needs are, as well as what support you need.

We will use this information to tailor your support plan, environment and activities to accommodate your sensory needs. We have the expertise and experience we need to support adults with complex sensory needs. We also work with other professionals and communicate and co-ordinate all the resources required to make sure your needs are met. This includes support to:

  • Access and use the facilities you need
  • Use the communication aids that enhance your involvement in decision making 
  • Access sensory facilities

We also have strong links to other professionals to make sure the people that support you have up to date training in the specific areas of sensory support you need. 

It is also important to us that we get your feedback so you can influence how we develop the our services. You can provide feedback here.


Jessica plans for the future

This is Jessica's story about becoming more independent and enjoying life to the max! Although Jessica's story is edited, Jessica was interviewed to help create this article. Highlights of her comments are shared throughout. 

Support for adults with sensory needs in Cambridgeshire Norfolk and Lincolnshire

Whatever your sensory needs, the Augusta Care team is available to help at any time. Reach us:

  • By phone, on our 24 hour helpline 01733 233 725
  • By email, on enquiries@augustacare.co.uk
  • By text, on 07970 399 498
  • On Twitter or Facebook
  • By arranging a meeting

More information about Sensory Processing Disorder

Resources for adults with Sensory Processing Disorder

Related Sensory Processing Disorder websites