SPD In Adults

Interview with Savannah Grace: Growing Up with SPD


Adolescents and adults who received and benefited from therapy in childhood may nonetheless find themselves struggling when they reach new developmental levels and or life experiences. For example, a teenager who has adapted to the challenges of high school may leave home for college and find that living in the more chaotic setting of a dormitory triggers new symptoms. At times like these, “booster” therapy or counseling that increases self-understanding and provides strategies for adapting to the new situation is often extremely helpful.

Sensational children who are not treated in childhood often grow into adults whose daily lives continue to be affected by their inability to accurately and appropriately interpret sensory messages. These “sensational adults” may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationships, and recreation. Because adults with SPD have struggled for most of their lives, they may also experience depression, underachievement, social isolation, or other secondary emotional or social effects.

The goal of treatment for adults with SPD is to help them live fulfilled and happy lives. Most adults with SPD struggle because they’ve been misunderstood all their lives. Often, they don’t even understand themselves. Why don’t I like to be with people, go shopping, or go to the movies? Or Why am I so clumsy? Or Why is it so hard for me to stick with things?

Once adults receive treatment for their sensory issues, understanding grows. With direct treatment such as occupational therapy or listening therapy, changes in how sensation is perceived occur. Strategies can be identified during treatment for avoiding those relationships and situations that cause failure and lead to anxiety and depression. Sensory techniques for the home can be taught.


Articles and titles of books about SPD in adults may be found in Our Library under “Adults and SPD.”

The Inside View on Sensory Processing Disorder From an Adult with SPD is a series of short videos by Rachel S. Schneider, M.A. MHC, a mental health counselor and adult with SPD. Rachel tackles questions commonly asked by adults with SPD or parents of young adults with SPD.