What are Sensory Processing Problems in Adults?
Sensory processing problems can result rom difculties in how thenervous system receives, organizes, and uses sensory inormation romthe body and the physical environment or sel regulation, motorplanning, and skill development. These problems impact sel-concept,emotional regulation, attention, problem solving, behavior control, skillperormance, and the capacity to develop and maintain interpersonalrelationships. In adults, they may negatively impact the ability to parent,work, or engage in home management, social, and leisure activities.Examples o indicators o sensory processing problems in adults ollow.
Indicators of Sensory Processing Problems in Adults
Sensory SystemsPerformance SkillsTactile
• Sensitive to texture and ft o clothing resultingin avoidance o some types o clothing (e.g., ties,turtlenecks, pantyhose).• Dislikes crowds or jostling in public places (e.g.,standing in lines or shopping).• Becomes irritated with light or unexpected touch.May have difculty with intimate touch.
• Difculties with balance, dislike o walking onuneven suraces.• Dislikes or disoriented in elevators or on escalators.• Becomes nauseous when riding in the car. Needs toride in the ront seat or be the driver.• Fearul o leaving the house or o ying.
• Sensitive to loud sounds.• Irritated by sounds not usually bothersome to others(e.g., pencils or pens scratching, lights buzzing,others eating, candy wrappers rustling).
• Difculty driving, parking, shiting gears, or enteringa reeway with an automobile.• Difculty managing common home and ofceequipment.• Clumsy or awkward with motor activities (e.g.,exercise, leisure, or sel-care tasks).
• Difculty discriminating visual and auditory cues,impacting social interactions and role perormance.• Difculty with body awareness, aecting bodyboundaries and body image.• Difculty discriminating sounds and ollowingverbal directions.
• Difculty discriminating visual and auditory cues,decreasing the ability to understand the emotionalexpressions o others, resulting in rustration,anxiety, and anger management issues.
Who Can Beneft From a Sensory Integration–Based Approach?
Sensory processing problems may occur in isolation, or contribute to or be comorbid with other conditions such asanxiety and panic disorders, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia. Those with learning disabilities,attention defcit disorder, developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or Asperger syndrome may also have thesedifculties.
Occupational Therapy Using a SensoryIntegration–Based Approach With Adult Populations
www.aota.org4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-3425Phone: 301-652-2682 TDD: 800-377-8555 Fax: 301-652-7711