08 November 2023
NTUC First Campus’s Senior Occupational Therapist advocates early recognition and support for children with Sensory Processing Disorder
In an article on CNA Online, Evelyn Chan, a Senior Occupational Therapist at NTUC First Campus’s (NFC) Child Support Services Department, shed light on the often misunderstood Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in children. Emphasising the importance of early recognition and intervention, Evelyn also highlighted the challenges parents face in seeking help due to limited awareness of SPD.
According to Evelyn, some parents who are unaware of the impact of SPD has on their child’s well-being, may inadvertently attribute SPD-related challenges to behavioural issues. When SPD coexists with other conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it can potentially exacerbate the observed traits of each condition. Children with SPD often display unusual or extreme reactions to sensory stimuli, such as picky eating, aversions to textures, tastes, or smells, and sensory-seeking behaviours like spinning or excessive jumping. Evelyn explained how these signs may manifest in specific environments, emphasising the need for a nuanced understanding of SPD.
Acknowledging that SPD is still largely unknown and misunderstood, Evelyn emphasised the importance of a thorough assessment to understand the condition comprehensively. At NFC, cases often relate to a child’s attention regulation, motor skills, and play skills, with underlying sensory processing challenges emerging upon assessment.
Without proper support, children with sensory processing difficulties may develop secondary social-emotional challenges in later years, including anxiety, social withdrawal, school refusal, and anger management. Evelyn said a shift in perspective through education and awareness on SPD would enable caregivers and teachers to better empathise with and understand the needs of children with SPD, hence providing better support for them.
Stay informed on the latest news and happening in NFC and the industry