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Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder resulting from the brain’s inability to integrate everyday sensory information received from the five senses: touch, vision, sound, smell and taste. The other lesser-known systems affected are vestibular and proprioception.

The vestibular system provides the leading contribution to body balance and is known as the “chief regulator” by assisting the other systems. It functions from the base of the brain (cerebellum), the upper part of the neck, and within the inner ear.

The proprioceptive system allows body awareness for spatial orientation and can vary muscle contraction and movement for immediate response to incoming information regarding external stimuli. It is located in the inner ear as well as within all the joints of the body and ligamentous attachments. Kids who suffer from SPD cannot properly perceive their environment.

Calming an Overloaded Nervous System

Can you imagine listening to Metallica at full blast? For kids with SPD, that’s what it’s like. Their brains are noisy, and the nerves are constantly firing. Every one of their five senses is overloaded. Things from the outside create tension in their system so much so that they act out or shut down. Parents may come in and say their child is having behavior problems, but they’re emphasizing the symptom and not the cause. When we see SPD, we ask the following questions: What is happening? Why is it happening? When is it happening?

If children already have an overloaded system to the touch sense, they don’t want to wear shirts with tags or walk on their feet. Our job as chiropractors is to get the nervous system to balance, so things don’t overwhelm it. Chiropractic adjustments can calm sensitivity down.

Helping Kids Adapt to Their Environment

For kids with SPD it comes down to adaptation; these kids don’t have the ability to adapt to their environment. As they’re overstimulated, we use chiropractic care to help the body to adjust to what’s coming at it from the outside. If the inside is working when stimulation comes from the outside children can adapt appropriately to whatever is happening.


At Van Every Family Chiropractic Center, we’re dedicated to helping children express their true health and wellness, naturally. If you have a child with autism, no matter where they lie on the spectrum, we have the ability to tailor a custom care plan designed to help them achieve optimal function and a balanced nervous system.

Through natural and gentle adjustments, we can provide focused care exactly where they need it. Many families who’ve chosen chiropractic for their autistic child are blown away by the impact it can have on the child’s life. If you’re wondering if we can help you, give us a call to learn more-we’re happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have about care.

Read Amanda’s Testimonial

We first came to Van Every on the recommendation of a friend about a year and a half ago. My son is autistic and also has a generalized anxiety disorder and sensory processing issues, specifically an under responsive proprioceptive system and an over responsive vestibular system. Due to a series of changes and incidents at school, my sweet first grader had become a complete mess with an out of control fight-or-flight instinct. It was near impossible for me to get him to school every day and when he went in he found it virtually impossible to bring himself to go in his classroom. His BCBA told us he basically had PTSD from what had happened and his fight or flight instinct was firing the second he stepped into the building.

Although we were seeing multiple therapists and doctors I was willing to try anything. Despite my extreme skepticism I took him to Van Every. Almost right away we started seeing changes in him. He was less impulsive and his fight or flight instinct became so much more controlled. This led to many positive changes, including him being more receptive to the therapies he was receiving.

Chiropractic is not a cure for autism – autism is not a disease. But chiropractic and a well-functioning nervous system can absolutely positively impact a child with sensory processing issues, PTSD or anxiety. Now that I know how much the nervous system impacts my child’s well-being I will always be a chiropractic patient. My daughter and I also go now and our overall health and well-being have been improved. – Amanda T., Farmington Hills MI

If your child has SPD, please contact Van Every Family Chiropractic Center in Royal Oak today to schedule an appointment. We want to help!


Sensory Processing Disorder in Royal Oak and MI | (248) 616-0900