Date of Conferral
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a neurological condition that alters the way an individual perceives sensory information. Although the condition has been studied for more than 40 years, SPD remains a difficult condition to diagnose, treat, and live with because it affects individuals uniquely, and the symptoms can change from childhood to adulthood. For children diagnosed with SPD, the misinterpretation of sensory cues can cause difficulties in family, social, and academic settings. While there is some research on the assessment and treatment of SPD, what is missing is a deeper understanding of the family, social and academic challenges these children and their families face. The purpose of this case study was to examine the experiences of children diagnosed with SPD, as told by 4 parents and their occupational therapist in semi-structured interviews. Four themes emerged from the analysis: family dynamics (challenges within the family structure), support impact (seeking and having support), emotion and balance (overcoming the struggles related to the emotional demand), and an SPD child (the search for balance for the child and the family). The results may serve as a catalyst to encourage positive social change for the children with SPD and their families by expanding the available knowledge on the challenges of SPD.