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What is sensory syndrome? Understanding the diagnosis of Giovanna Ewbank’s son

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Sensory processing disorder (SPD) includes symptoms such as hypersensitive or hyposensitive hearing, touch, and smell that may be noticed in early childhood.




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“He hears more than us, hears more than all of us, smells more”, is what the presenter reported. Joanna Ewbank on their 8-year-old son Bless during his podcasts Chi Pod, Pod, which he shares with the actress Fernanda Paes Lemes, this Tuesday 24. In a conversation about the behavior of children, with the host Manoel Soares, Giovanna cried as she reported the discovery of a sensory syndrome in her son.

What initially appeared to be a degree of autism for the mother, who did not understand her son’s actions, he was actually a Sensory Processing Disorder (STP). Attitudes such as not feeling comfortable stepping on the grass, being annoyed by the smell of onions and hearing flies louder even in the distance, initially made Giovanna believe it was “freshness”, but after discovering the diagnosis, the The actress felt guilty for failing to understand the child’s complaints.

The condition is most commonly diagnosed in children and occurs when the nervous system does not interpret sensory stimuli efficiently. In this way stimuli such as lights, smells and sounds are able to overload the brain or reach it slowly.

Some cases can be diagnosed in adult life, in acquired situations such as hydrocephalus, brain tumor, stroke or head injury. In these cases, during the patient’s recovery process, it may be possible to identify this neurological deficit that did not exist before. All cases can be treated.

Although it is closely associated with other diagnoses, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and fragile X syndrome, a person with TPS may not have other medical conditions. An article published in the magazine Somewhere else shows that the disorder affects 5 to 16% of the population with no clinical conditions and 30 to 80% in people with specific diagnoses.

That is why it is necessary to seek a professional who rules out other problems, this warns the neurologist and professor of the Faculdade de Medicina from University of Sao PauloFernando Gomes. “Not everyone who has these problems can be labeled as being on the autism spectrum.”

Fernando also explains that the condition can impair the child’s neuropsychomotor development. “If you don’t have someone to pay attention and help modulate the nervous system, the baby could also be left with poor nutrition.”

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms that affect people with TPS are different for more sensitive or less sensitive people, i.e. their brain is overloaded with stimuli or they receive it with a little delay. The two forms are part of the disorder, they must be observed and, in case of identification, go in search of a pediatrician as a gateway. If anything more assertive is observed in the motor and neurological system, a neuropediatrician should be consulted.

For people with hypersensitivity there are common characteristics that can go along with motor difficulties such as difficulty holding things. I’m:

  • Fear of playing on swings;
  • Discomfort with light;
  • Desire to vomit for foods with different textures than they are used to;
  • Poor motor skills;
  • Difficulty walking barefoot in sandy areas
  • Difficulty getting your head wet in the bath
  • behavioral problems;
  • Very high perception of sounds and aversion to very noisy environments;
  • Feeling gentle touches sharply;
  • Feeling that the fabric of the clothing is itching or burning.

In older people, the condition can develop low self-confidence and eventually lead to social isolation or depression.

For people with hyposensitivity, common symptoms are:

  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • They prefer big noises and loud sounds;
  • They like more intense stimuli like jumping and spinning;
  • Look for visual stimuli (such as electronic devices);
  • No perception of dirty face or runny nose;
  • They can keep running without getting dizzy;
  • Things to chew (including hands and clothes)
  • Restlessness.

The disorder has no cure, but there are treatments

Sensory Processing Disorder is not a curable condition, but treatments can be done to relieve sensitivity during childhood and help you grow up healthy and with less negative perceptions to lead a normal life. The main follow-up to do is with an occupational therapist who will work on the neuroplasticity of the conditioned person. The work stimulates the brain to adapt to a new situation, modulating the nervous system and teaching it to reduce perception in the face of a stimulus that can be uncomfortable.

The therapy contains slow and progressive exposure techniques that can help in the healthy development of the child in difficulty with the food textures necessary for his nutrition, adapting to environments that could previously be uncomfortable, or even simpler things like stepping on the sand on the beach.

Additionally, psychological follow-up is recommended to address issues such as depression and bullying, which are common in the case of those who have the condition, and also with a speech therapist to address sound perception. For neurologist Fernando Gomes, going to a neuropediatrician early, instead of scolding unusual attitudes, can avoid many problems in the child’s development and bring more peace of mind to that child’s adult life. But he cautions that seeking the correct diagnosis is important, and it may not be a quick process. “Suddenly you buy a diagnosis label that you don’t have,” he points out for cases like diagnoses of ADHD or ASD, which can often be a hypersensitivity disorder.

The advice for parents dealing with unusual behavior is to act with positive reinforcement and always try to understand what is behind the child’s negative attitudes and aspects. “Before you get forceful, be aware of other things that might be happening,” she says, adding that even looking for bright screens can be a need for stimulation.

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Source: Terra

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