Autism, ADHD and SPD

While my son was being evaluated for autism, the lead evaluator said that Sensory Processing Disorder was a matter of debate in the autism community and some didn’t think it actually existed.

Sigh. I lost confidence in the evaluation at that point. I know that SPD exists because I have it.

In fact, both my son and I have sensory processing disorder. I have ADHD and he, according to his evaluation, he has autism.

Therefore I am sharing this podcast where the guest, Carol Kranowitz says every kid with autism has SPD (but not the other way around). Here’s a link to the podcast episode page with show notes that include other resources about SPD.

I think this is an important topic for the autism parent community because as Carol says in the podcast, she talked to Temple Grandin who said sensory issues are the thing that causes the most issues for autism people. I can’t comment on that charge specifically but given that I do have SPD, it can be incredibly disruptive to life.

One of the common things people say to me is that they understand my sensitivities and then they cite an example of them being sensitive once. The problem is that I am always sensitive to it and my reaction is not to deal with it quickly without incident and move on with my life. I can’t even imagine what this is like for my son. I hate to think of how much SPD bothers him.

In the podcast, Carol says to help kids, best thing to do is to pursue occupational therapy with sensory integration. I really haven’t heard anyone else say this about autistic kids. In fact, we were told we should stop going to OT for a while because it wasn’t the priority over the other therapies my son is doing.

My son may need to change up his therapy program.


  1. OT is probably one of the best things we did with Declan. Declan was being treated for SPD before he was diagnosed with autism. He is constantly sensory seeking input. OT showed us how to provide him deep pressure, which helps him calm and focus. We have a sensory sock always available, at home and at school as recommended by the OT. Also – OT helped with learning how to dress, use his hands to complete tasks (like hold scissors or a pencil (which we are still working on – but so close!)), she helped him move his legs to use a scooter and moved his legs to ride a bike – he still can’t figure out the latter, but she is right on it and helps him so much. We have an awesome OT, so I am super pro OT.

    Liked by 2 people

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