Sensory Processing Disorder in Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Speech Therapist Should Know

  • Eunice Ochuka
  • George Mathenge Wairungu
Keywords: Sensory processing Disorder (SPD), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Information (SI), Sensory Integration Therapy, Multidisciplinary Team


The aim of this article is to discuss various subtypes of sensory processing disorder and their implication in the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Typically, in human beings, sensory receptors receive information from internal and external environment and then send it to the brain for determination of the appropriate behavioral or motor response. In some individuals however, the process is affected by a dysfunction of the sensory integration process. The condition is known as sensory processing disorder (SPD). It is a heterogeneous condition that negatively affects how one’s brains perceives and responds to sensory information. Research estimates that around 90% of individuals living with ASD have SPD, while that of general population is estimated to be only 5-10%. Individuals with SPD tend to react to sensory stimuli in a negative way both socially and emotionally. SPD is not considered a disorder (per se) by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. Some doctors consider it as a symptom of other disorders (ASD, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Hyperactivity). Unfortunately, not much is known about its cause or neurobiology. Further, majority of individuals with SPD have challenges with communication commonly leading to aggression and other challenging behaviors. Speech therapy is therefore paramount to help improve their socio-communication skills. Speech therapist need to understand nature and implications of SPD so that that can address it and as well help other collaborating members of the multidisciplinary team. It is important that the government, universities, non-governmental organizations and related stakeholders invest more time, funds and resources in research and creation of awareness about the condition.


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How to Cite
Ochuka, E., & Wairungu, G. M. (2024). Sensory Processing Disorder in Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Speech Therapist Should Know. European Journal of Science, Innovation and Technology, 3(6), 447-456. Retrieved from