Chiropractic Treatment Options For Children With Sensory Processing Disorder


Sensory processing disorder (SPD) causes over- or under-reactivities in certain senses. Although it's commonly found in children with autism spectrum disorders, it's also possible to suffer from SPD without any other diagnosis. Using an integrated therapy plan which includes chiropractic care can help your child develop coping mechanisms for over- and under-sensitivities, along with addressing any physical issues that make the issues worse.

Physical Treatments

The spine is home to the proprioceptive system, where it helps control motor skills and sensory input. A misalignment of the spine can lead to dulled senses, especially where movement and touch is concerned. Improving the child's spinal alignment may relieve some SPD systems because it can heighten their sense of touch.

The vestibular system is mainly housed in the cerebellum and the inner ear. Misalignment here causes poor balance and an inability to process incoming sensory feedback. It often leads to over-sensitivities, and may show as a dislike of certain movements, sounds, and textures. Chiropractic realignment, from a practitioner skilled in treating children with special needs, can improve the alignment of these systems and help alleviate some SPD symptoms.

Organized Input Therapies

Children with over-sensitivities can benefit from further integrated approaches with their chiropractor. A few examples of therapies available include:

  • Massage therapy. Unlike standard massage therapy, which is mainly aimed at loosening and improving muscle function, SPD therapy is used to help a child become accustomed to and develop coping skills for different feelings on their skin.

  • Sensory-motor processing work. This therapy helps a child improve under-developed motor and sensory skills. A chiropractor skilled in these therapies will develop a plan based upon the physical limitations of the child to help them perform basic motor skills in a way that doesn't disrupt their body's alignment. Balance, visual tracking, and fine motor skills are just a few issues a chiropractor can help treat. For example, learning how to balance on a beam can alleviate feelings of vertigo and prevent future muscle and skeletal issues.

  • Stabilization and health aid therapies. Sometimes, SPD is made worse by physical limitations, such as uneven leg length or joint issues. Your chiropractor can help choose orthopedic footwear or other aid devices for your child to help alleviate misalignment issues in the skeletal system.

Choose a chiropractor with experience and training for working with SPD and special needs children. Verify that they have dedicated treatment rooms for these conditions and will make scheduling allowances where necessary. You don't want to be in a waiting room for a long period during a busy time, when the sensory input from a busy crowd can overstimulate your child. Visit Olson Chiropractic Centers for more information.


10 February 2015

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