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Showing posts from January, 2017

Deconstructing the myth of clothing sensitivity as a 'sensory processing disorder'

Please note first that there is no formally recognized clinical designation of  'sensory processing disorder.'   It is a term constructed by occupational therapists that has not been formally recognized by the larger medical community.

In our clinic we receive many referrals from local pediatricians when parents have concerns about children being overly sensitive to their clothing.  Most often the children referred are from four to seven years old and the families are severely disrupted by the children's behaviors and responses to clothing issues.  Commonly, children will have severely constricted tolerance for certain outfits, want to wear the same clothes repeatedly, complain that clothing is itchy/scratch/bumpy/wiggly/ouchie, and this all leads to disruption of daily dressing routines.  There is no doubt that the behavioral concerns are very real.

The pediatricians tend to be appropriately conservative and provide families with good behavioral management suggestions bef…