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Sensory Processing refers to the way in which we receive messages from our bodies and the world around us to use for building skills.  It doesn’t matter whether we are writing our names, riding a bicycle or playing with friends, it depends on the efficient use of sensation.

For some individuals, this process does not result in smooth processing, but rather inefficiencies with the detection or organization of sensation.

Pioneering occupational therapist, educational psychologist, and neuroscientist A. Jean Ayres, PhD, described Sensory Processing Disorder  (SPD) to a neurological “traffic jam” which prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and many other problems may impact those who do not have effective treatment.

Printed from www.spdstar.org

Infants and toddlers

____ Problems eating or sleeping

____ Refuses to go to anyone but their mom for comfort

____ Irritable when being dressed; uncomfortable in clothes

____ Rarely plays with toys

____ Resists cuddling, arches away when held

____ Cannot calm self

____ Floppy or stiff body, motor delays

 

Pre-schoolers

____ Over-sensitive to touch, noises, smells, other people

____ Difficulty making friends

____ Difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping, and/or toilet training

____ Clumsy; poor motor skills; weak

____ In constant motion; in everyone else’s  “face and space”

____ Frequent or long temper tantrums

 

Grade-schoolers

___ Over-sensitive to touch, noise, smells, other people

___ Easily distracted, fidgety, craves movement; aggressive

___ Easily overwhelmed

___ Difficulty with handwriting or motor activities

___ Difficulty making friends

___ Unaware of pain and/or other people

 

Adolescents and adults

___ Over-sensitive to touch, noise, smells, and other people

___ Poor self-esteem; afraid of failing at new tasks

___ Lethargic and slow

___ Always on the go; impulsive; distractible

___ Leaves tasks uncompleted

___ Clumsy, slow, poor motor skills or handwriting

___ Difficulty staying focused

___ Difficulty staying focused at work and in meetings

___ Unmotivated; never seems to get joy from life

 

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Compiled by Stacey Szklut MS, OTR/L & South Shore Therapies Staff Children learn through play and active exploration. Many toys and games can encourage learning and develop skills in planning and sequencing, eye-hand coordination, visual perception, concept development and fine motor control. These suggestions may be helpful in choosing appropriate toys for the holidays, birthdays and other special times. They include sensory based activities to provide organizing sensation and encourage the development of body awareness, as well as games to encourage the development of specific skills and language concepts. Approximate ages or skill levels have been given to help guide your choices. Many items can be purchased at toy stores or through the catalogues listed. Ask your occupational therapist for help in deciding which games or toys are the best choices for your child. Games to Develop Coordination, Problem Solving and Visual Perception: Younger Ages (3-6 years) Older Kids (7 and up) 3D Labyrinth Acuity (Fat Brain Toys) Angry Birds: Knock on Wood Aftershock! Animal Soup Game Amazing Labyrinth Game (Sensational Kids, Discovery Toys) Ants in the Pants Batik (Mindware) Bouncin’ Bunnies (Highlights) Battling Tops Buckaroo Battleship Cadoo & Balloon Lagoon Blink Charades for Kids Blokus (Mindware, Highlights) Colorforms Dress-up Game (Therapro) Bulls Eye Ball Cootie Connect Four Cranium Hullabaloo Cover Your Tracks (Thinkfun Games) Don’t Break the Ice/The Smurfs Hold On Clumsy Cranium Cadoo Don’t Spill the Beans Guess Who/ Guess Where Elefun Jenga/Scooby Doo Hold On Finders Keepers (Mindware) Kerplunk/ Tumble Fishin’ Around Launch Across Gobbler Mastermind Gnip Gnop (Highlights, Back to Basics, Young Explorers) Monster Under My Bed (Young Explorers) Hidden Picture Game (Highlights) Mousetrap Honey Bee Tree (Back to Basics, Highlights, Leaps & Bounds) Operation/ Dino Xcavator (Sensational Beginnings) Hungry Hungry Hippos Perfection I Spy Bingo (Young Explorers) Pipeline (Mindware) I Spy Memory Game (Young Explorers) Q-Bitz Lucky Ducks Quirkle Memory Game Raging Rapids (Think Fun) Monkeying Around (Young Explorers) River Crossing (Think Fun) Mr. Mouth Rebound Penguin Pile-up (Hearthsong) Rummikub Poppa’s Pizza Pile-up (Leaps & Bounds) Rush Hour (Think Fun, Mindware) Poppin Puzzlers Screwball Scramble (Young Explorers) Pop up Pirates Simon Trickster Race to the Roof (Young Explorers) Spot it! Scatterpiller Scramble Squeezed Out (Back to Basics) / Hens & Chicks (Hearthsong) Silly Faces(Therapro) Thin Ice Topsy Turtle Twister Very Hungry Caterpillar Game (Young Explorers) What’s in Ned’s Head? (Young Explorers) Whack a Mole Zig Zag Zimbbos (Young Explorers) Zitternix Game (Hearthsong) For Sensory Motor Development and Coordination: Provides Organizing Sensory Input More Skilled Coordination Needed Blo-pens Air Kicks Boots Body Sox (Integrations) Air Pogo (Young Explorers) Bop Bag (Back to Basics) Balance Board (Back to Basics) (Monkey Balance Board) Chilly Hammock Swing First Jumper (Back to Basics) Balance Stilts (Hearthsong) Bilbo Foof Chair Large Beanbag (Integrations) Folding Trampoline (Hearthsong) Giga Ball (Sears, Hearthsong) Horse Tire Swing (Highlights, Back to Basics) Bungee Jumper (Young Explorers) Color Explosion (Crayola) Dance Maker 2 Dance Machine (Sears, Young Explorers) Disc Swing (Young Explorers) Inside Out Balls (Therapro, Hearthsong) Jigglers (Therapro, Integrations) Jumpolene (Back to Basics) Kick Bag (Sears, Back to Basics) Marvel the Mustang Riding Horse (Back to Basics) Massager /Bug/ Fuzzy (South Shore Therapies) My First Trampoline (Back to Basics) Oral Motor Kit (South Shore Therapies) Chewies: P’s & Q’s, Super Teether Play Tents (Back to Basics, Hearthsong, Integrations) Rock & Bounce Pony (Back to Basics) Rocking Horse (Back to Basics, Young Explorers) Rocking Rody Rider (Therapro, Integrations) Row Cart (Back to Basics) Sand Digger (Constructive Playthings) Scooter Boards Sensory Regulation Kit (South Shore Therapies) Snail Rocker (Back to Basics) Sock en’ Boppers Set (Sears) Spring Horse (Back to Basics) Super Large Crash Pads (South Shore Therapies) Weighted Wearables,Blankets (Grampa’s Garden,Therapro) Whistles (I Party, Therapro) Flying Turtle (Back to Basics, Hearthsong, HIghlights) Fun Ride (Back to Basics, Highlights, Young Explorers) Hop 66/ Hop Ball (Hearthsong, Young Explorers) Jump Ropes Junior Champ Boxing Set (Constructive Playthings) Kick-a-Roos (Highlights) Krazy Car/ Whirley Wheel (Back to Basics, Integrations) Moon Shoes (Highlights, Sears, Young Explorers) Moon Walkers (Young Explorers) Pedal-Power/ Fun Wheels (Back to Basics, Hearthsong) Plasma Car (Young Explorers) Pogo Ball Pogo Stick (Highlights) Razor Scooters Romper Stompers Rope Ladder (Hearthsong) Sit & Spin (Back to Basics) Skip Around (Hearthsong) Slackers Slackline Sleds & Snow Tubes Wobbler (Highlights, Hearthsong) Activities that Develop Eye-Hand Coordination and Visual-Spatial Planning: Visual Control/ Eye-Hand Coordination: Constructional Building Activities: Air Puck Hockey Aerobloks (Highlights, Integrations) Alfredo’s Food Fight Block Buddies (Mindware) Balanko Game (Highlights) Build and Play Mechanic Set (Discount School Supply) Beamo Flying Disc Cast & Paint: Krazy Cars with Blo Pens Bean Bag Games Colorforms (Sensational Kids, Back to Basics) Bucket Blast Game (Hearthsong) Create a Track –Snap Track Set (Back to Basics) Dodge Discs Delta Sand (Hearthsong) Flip Flop Faces (Discovery Toys) Design & Drill Activity (Leaps & Bounds) Hammer Away (Discovery Toys) E-Z Build & Play (Constructive Playthings) Hopscotch Mat (Highlights) Gearations (Leap & Bounds) Hyper Dash Georello Tool Box Infinity Loop (Integrations) Giant Constructive Blocks (Constructive Playthings) Junior Swing Ball (Young Explorers) Junior Blast Pad Jolly Octopus K’nex Legos/ Duplos/ Quatro Bucket Light Snap Circuits Kids Croquet (Toys to Grow on) Mini Ogo Discs Monster Velcro Mitts (Toy Box) Nerf Basketball Hoop Paddle Pool (Highlights) Rack ‘n’ Roll Bowl (Highlights) Lincoln Logs (Back To Basics) Make ‘Break Challenge (Fat Brain Toys) Magz Construction Set (Back to Basics, Hearthsong) Magnatiles Magnetic Mosaics (Highlights, Toys to Grow On) Marbleworks (Discovery Toys) Activities that Develop Eye-Hand Coordination and Visual-Spatial Planning (continued) : Visual Control/ Eye-Hand Coordination: Remote Control Cars Safety Dart Board (Hearthsong) Constructional Building Activities: Maze-N-Race (Realfun) Oogly Googly Motorized Building Set (Young Explorers) Target Tail Ball (Hearthsong, Highlights) Trapp Ball Toss Across Whistling Whirler (Discovery Toys) Zoom Ball Peg-a-Plane (Lauri) Playmobil Super Shapes (Constructive Playthings) Zoob (Mindware) To Support Fine Motor Development and Writing: Pre-Writing Skills (Ages 3-5) Drawing & Writing Skills (Ages 6 and older) Art Kits (crayons, paints, etc.)/ Easels Activity Book (Hearthsong) Brush on Washable Painters (Toys to Grow On) Arts & Crafts Projects (Hearthsong, Toys to Grow On) Colorforms (Hearthsong, Back to Basics) Color-in Tattoos Creative Clay (Back to Basics, Hearthsong) Etch-a-Sketch Cranium Cariboo Crayola Beginnings Crayola Trace & Draw (Sears) Dressing Dolls/ Woodkins Dot Art Fine Motor Kit (South Shore Therapies) Magnetic Art (Leaps & Bounds) Pattern Block Set (Young Explorer) Playdoh/ Silly Putty/Theraputty (Therapro) Playful Patterns (Discovery Toys) Ready to Print Practice Books (Toys to Grow on) Roll on Painters (Toys to Grow on) Sand Art Scratch Magic (Young Explorer) Spinmallow Squiggle Writer Pen (Therapro) Stencil Kit (Hearthsong) Tickle Bee Game (Hearthsong, Back to Basics) Water Filled Drawing Mats Wiggle Writer (Toys to Grow on, Therapro) Zingo Zoo Sticks (Hearthsong) EZ Art Projector (Constructive Playthings) Kendama Legos Magna Doodle Mazes Peel & Stick Collage Boards (Constructive Playthings) Pictionary Junior/ Pictionary Pop Bead People (Klutz) Pumponator Puzzlemania (Highlights) Roller Typing (Discovery Toys) Shrinky Dinks Spirograph Suncatcher Kit (Highlights) Stain Glass Coloring Book (Mindware) Trace & Draw Projector (Toys to Grow on) Wikki Stix Acitivty Set Window Art (Young Explorers) Window Decorating Paints (Hearthsong) Zip-Track (Discovery Toys) 1, 2 Tie My Shoe Below is a list of the catalogue resources sited on this list. Other Resources for choosing toys and therapeutic activities to support intervention can be found in the Parent Resource Box at South Shore Therapies. Amazon www.amazon.com Back to Basics (800) 356-5360 www.basictoys.com Constructive Playthings (800) 832-0572 www.constplay.com Fat Brain Toys (800)-5905987 www.FatBrainToys.com Hearth Song (800) 325-2502 www.hearthsong.com Highlights (800) 422-6202 www.highlights.com Integrations (800) 850-8602 www.integrationscatalog.com Leaps and Bounds (800) 477-2189 www.onestepahead.com Mindware (800) 999-0398 www.mindwareonline Magic Beans (Store in Hingham) (781) 749-2321 www.mbeans.com Rhyme ‘N Reason (Store in Pembroke) (781) 829-6800 Rock Paper Scissors (Store in Duxbury) (781) 452-7376 www.rockpaperscissorsdux.com Sensational Beginnings (800) 444-2147 www.sensationalbeginnings.com Therapro (800) 257-5376 www.theraproducts.com The Toy Box (Store in Hanover) (781) 871-3650 www.thetoyboxhanover.com Toys To Grow On (800) 987-4454 www.ttgo.com Young Explorers (800) 239-7577 www.YoungExplorers.com

News

Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids

October 29, 2018
Headache area on brain X-ray, 3D illustration.

Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids
By Juliana Bunim on July 09, 2013
side view diagram of human brain that shows Speech/Language area toward the front, Somatic/Sensory Cortex area at top, Gustatory (Taste) area in center, Language area at center back, Visual area at far back, and Auditory area at center bottom
The image shows areas of the brain that can be affected by sensory processing disorders. Using an advanced form of MRI, researchers at UCSF have identified abnormalities in the brain structure of children with SPD primarily in the back of the brain.
Sensory processing disorders (SPD) are more prevalent in children than autism and as common as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yet the condition receives far less attention partly because it’s never been recognized as a distinct disease.

Pratik Mukherjee
Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD
In a groundbreaking new study from UC San Francisco, researchers have found that children affected with SPD have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other neurodevelopmental disorders.

One of the reasons SPD has been overlooked until now is that it often occurs in children who also have ADHD or autism, and the disorders have not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

“Until now, SPD hasn’t had a known biological underpinning,” said senior author Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, a professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and bioengineering at UCSF. “Our findings point the way to establishing a biological basis for the disease that can be easily measured and used as a diagnostic tool,” Mukherjee said.

The work is published in the open access online journal NeuroImage:Clinical.

‘Out of Sync’ Kids
Sensory processing disorders affect 5 to 16 percent of school-aged children.

Graphic that says “Sensory processing disorders affect 5 to 16 percent of school-aged children.”

Children with SPD struggle with how to process stimulation, which can cause a wide range of symptoms including hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch, poor fine motor skills and easy distractibility. Some SPD children cannot tolerate the sound of a vacuum, while others can’t hold a pencil or struggle with social interaction. Furthermore, a sound that one day is an irritant can the next day be sought out. The disease can be baffling for parents and has been a source of much controversy for clinicians, according to the researchers.

Elysa Marco
Elysa Marco, MD
“Most people don’t know how to support these kids because they don’t fall into a traditional clinical group,” said Elysa Marco, MD, who led the study along with postdoctoral fellow Julia Owen, PhD. Marco is a cognitive and behavioral child neurologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, ranked among the nation’s best and one of California’s top-ranked centers for neurology and other specialties, according to the 2013-2014 U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals survey.

“Sometimes they are called the ‘out of sync’ kids. Their language is good, but they seem to have trouble with just about everything else, especially emotional regulation and distraction. In the real world, they’re just less able to process information efficiently, and they get left out and bullied,” said Marco, who treats affected children in her cognitive and behavioral neurology clinic.

“If we can better understand these kids who are falling through the cracks, we will not only help a whole lot of families, but we will better understand sensory processing in general. This work is laying the foundation for expanding our research and clinical evaluation of children with a wide range of neurodevelopmental challenges – stretching beyond autism and ADHD,” she said.

Imaging the Brain’s White Matter
In the study, researchers used an advanced form of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which measures the microscopic movement of water molecules within the brain in order to give information about the brain’s white matter tracts. DTI shows the direction of the white matter fibers and the integrity of the white matter. The brain’s white matter is essential for perceiving, thinking and learning.

brain scans
These brain images, taken with DTI, show water diffusion within the white matter of children with sensory processing disorders. Row FA: The blue areas show white matter where water diffusion was less directional than in typical children, indicating impaired white matter microstructure. Row MD: The red areas show white matter where the overall rate of water diffusion was higher than in typical children, also indicating abnormal white matter. Row RD: The red areas show white matter where SPD children have higher rates of water diffusion perpendicular to the axonal fibers, indicating a loss of integrity of the fiber bundles comprising the white matter tracts.
The study examined 16 boys, between the ages of eight and 11, with SPD but without a diagnosis of autism or prematurity, and compared the results with 24 typically developing boys who were matched for age, gender, right- or left-handedness and IQ. The patients’ and control subjects’ behaviors were first characterized using a parent report measure of sensory behavior called the Sensory Profile.

The imaging detected abnormal white matter tracts in the SPD subjects, primarily involving areas in the back of the brain, that serve as connections for the auditory, visual and somatosensory (tactile) systems involved in sensory processing, including their connections between the left and right halves of the brain.

“These are tracts that are emblematic of someone with problems with sensory processing,” said Mukherjee. “More frontal anterior white matter tracts are typically involved in children with only ADHD or autistic spectrum disorders. The abnormalities we found are focused in a different region of the brain, indicating SPD may be neuroanatomically distinct.”

The researchers found a strong correlation between the micro-structural abnormalities in the white matter of the posterior cerebral tracts focused on sensory processing and the auditory, multisensory and inattention scores reported by parents in the Sensory Profile. The strongest correlation was for auditory processing, with other correlations observed for multi-sensory integration, vision, tactile and inattention.

The abnormal microstructure of sensory white matter tracts shown by DTI in kids with SPD likely alters the timing of sensory transmission so that processing of sensory stimuli and integrating information across multiple senses becomes difficult or impossible.

“We are just at the beginning, because people didn’t believe this existed,” said Marco. “This is absolutely the first structural imaging comparison of kids with research diagnosed sensory processing disorder and typically developing kids. It shows it is a brain-based disorder and gives us a way to evaluate them in clinic.”

Support SPD Research
Thanks to groundbreaking work from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, a biological basis for SPD has been discovered. There is much work to be done and a funding gap. We still need to:

Understand the genetic causes of sensory processing differences
Uncover risk factors for SPD
Measure the neurologic brain differences in affected individuals
Determine if current interventions are truly effective for brain plasticity
Develop new therapies based on scientific evidence
You can pave the way for a new era of sensory research and therapies by supporting UCSF’s scientific sensory processing team.

DONATE NOW
Future studies need to be done, she said, to research the many children affected by sensory processing differences who have a known genetic disorder or brain injury related to prematurity.

The study’s co-authors are Shivani Desai, BS, Emily Fourie, BS, Julia Harris, BS, and Susanna Hill, BS, all of UCSF, and Anne Arnett, MA, of the University of Denver.

The research was supported by the Wallace Research Foundation. The authors have reported that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the forefront of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 2,000 babies born in the hospital. For more information, visit www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

UCSF Study Shows Measurable Neurological Differences In Affected Children

Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that boys and girls with sensory processing disorder (SPD) have altered pathways for brain connectivity when compared to typically developing children, and the difference predicts challenges with auditory and tactile processing.

The research, published Jan. 26, in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, is the biggest imaging study ever done in children with SPD. It’s also the first to compare the white matter tracts in the brain of typically developing boys and girls versus those with an SPD diagnosis. The brain’s white matter forms the “wiring” that links different areas of the brain and is therefore essential for perceiving, thinking and action.

Children with SPD struggle with processing stimulation, which can cause a wide range of symptoms, including hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch.  Many affected children also have poor fine motor skills, such as problems with holding a pencil, challenges with attention and profound difficulties with emotional regulation. Some SPD children cannot tolerate the sound of a vacuum cleaner or the touch of their loved ones.  Furthermore, a sound that is an irritant one-day can be tolerated the next making parenting very confusing.

The first row (in blue) shows areas of the brain where children with SPD have less white matter than typically developing children. This is especially evident in the back of the brain, the primary site for transmitting sensory information. Rows two and three (in orange) show parts of the brain where children with SPD have more white matter – although the “structural integrity” is impaired. Image courtesy of Yi-Shin Chang/UCSF

The study enrolled 40 right-handed boys and girls with SPD and 41 right-handed typically developing children, and examined the pathways for connectivity of specific white matter tracts in their brain using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The SPD and control subjects’ behaviors were first characterized using a parent report measure of sensory behavior called the Sensory Profile. They also were given the Acoustic Index of the Differential Screening Test and a portion of the Sensory Integration Praxis Tests to directly measure auditory and tactile processing, respectively.

“By comparing the white matter in the brain of kids with SPD and typically developing kids, we were able to relate them to direct measurements of auditory and tactile function and find strong correlations between the white matter and sensory functioning,” said senior author Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, a professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and bioengineering at UCSF. “The children with SPD and the typically developing kids form a continuum, with the children with SPD at one extreme and sensory-typical at the other. This builds on the idea that SPD is a spectrum disorder and for the first time we have direct measurements, rather than solely relying on parent reports.”

Examining Brain Wiring

The researchers used DTI to measure the structural connectivity of the kids in both groups. The advanced form of imaging measures the microscopic movement of water molecules within the brain and shows the direction of the white matter fibers and their integrity, thereby mapping the structural connections between brain regions. The microstructure of the white matter correlates with sensory functioning, especially in the back of the brain where tracts are responsible for relaying sensory information.

Clockwise from top left: Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD; Elysa Marco, MD; Julia Owen, PhD; and Yi-Shin Chang, MS.

The imaging detected abnormal white matter tracts in the SPD subjects that serve as connections for the auditory, visual and somatosensory (tactile) systems involved in sensory processing, including their connections between the left and right halves of the brain. The abnormal microstructure of sensory white matter tracts shown by DTI in kids with SPD likely alters the timing of sensory transmission, so that processing of sensory stimuli and integrating information across multiple senses becomes difficult or impossible.

The results of the DTI had a stronger correlation with the direct measurements of tactile and auditory processing taken during the neurological testing than in the parent report survey, which the researchers say is likely due to the direct measurements being more objective.

“Knowing that the neurological testing is a strong predictor of what we’ll see on the DTI means we can use it more confidently to calculate sensory challenges, and tailor our treatments to best help our patients,” said Elysa Marco, MD, who led the study along with postdoctoral fellow Julia Owen, PhD, and Yi-Shin Chang, MS, in the department of radiology and biomedical imaging. “This ties directly into precision medicine – not relying on one size fits all for clinical diagnoses – but objectively assessing patients using quantifiable biomarkers to then personalize their treatment.”

Pioneering Work

Support SPD Research

Thanks to groundbreaking work from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, a biological basis for SPD has been discovered.  There is much work to be done and a funding gap. We still need to:

  • Understand the genetic causes of sensory processing differences
  • Uncover risk factors for SPD
  • Measure the neurologic brain differences in affected individuals
  • Determine if current interventions are truly effective for brain plasticity
  • Develop new therapies based on scientific evidence

You can pave the way for a new era of sensory research and therapies by supporting UCSF’s scientific sensory processing team.

This new research follows UCSF’s groundbreaking study published in 2013 that was the first to find that boys affected with SPD have quantifiable regional differences in brain structure when compared to typically developing boys. This work showed a biological basis for the disease but prompted the question of how these differences compared with other neurodevelopmental disorders and how it would manifest in girls.

SPD can be hard to pinpoint, as up to 90 percent of children with autism also are reported to have atypical sensory behaviors, and SPD has not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists. However, children with sensory-based dysfunction who do not meet the criteria for autism based on social communication deficits remain virtually unstudied.

The study’s co-authors are Yi-Shin Chang, MS; Julia Owen, PhD; Shivani Desai, BS; Anne Brandes-Aitkin, BS; Susanna Hill, BS; Anne Arnett, MA; and Julia Harris, BS, all of UCSF.

This work was funded by grants from the Wallace Research Foundation to EJM and to PM and a gift from Toby Mickelson and Donald Brody to EJM. EJM has received neuroimaging support that contributed to this work from NIH K23 MH083890. The researchers also received generous support from the SPD community of family and friends through gifts large and small to the UCSF Sensory Neurodevelopment and Autism Program (SNAP.) The authors have reported that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and UCSF Health, which includes two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, as well as other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.

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Mauris vitae suscipit dolor. Curabitur a scelerisque felis, vel varius lacus. Vivamus molestie magna dolor, in sodales ex finibus commodo. Praesent bibendum tellus sapien, sit amet facilisis sem dignissim nec. Sed vitae feugiat magna, non fringilla purus. Cras ornare sapien eget tincidunt placerat. Nam tristique, sapien nec pellentesque cursus, arcu magna commodo tortor, nec efficitur nisl dolor sed sapien. Donec volutpat ipsum est, sed congue magna efficitur et. Donec sodales scelerisque turpis, id aliquam libero ultrices id. Vivamus tempus varius nisl eu ornare. Vestibulum vitae lobortis odio. Morbi odio urna, facilisis a hendrerit ut, viverra eget augue. Phasellus ultricies eleifend lorem, sed aliquam nunc malesuada sit amet. In sem nisl, maximus ut tristique nec, imperdiet ut odio. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla maximus, neque ac sollicitudin mollis, elit diam maximus massa, ac elementum quam quam ultricies velit.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed odio mauris, aliquam vitae ante et, gravida vestibulum turpis. Aenean maximus ipsum gravida mauris molestie, sollicitudin ultricies massa consectetur. Etiam aliquet augue eu dui porta dapibus. Sed tristique eu arcu non pharetra. Morbi convallis condimentum lobortis. Praesent vel massa accumsan, ultricies orci eget, lobortis diam. Ut imperdiet augue vel nunc pulvinar, in suscipit nibh tincidunt.

Donec non hendrerit magna. Nam aliquam eget purus faucibus lobortis. Nulla facilisi. Quisque viverra neque massa, ut consectetur tortor sodales non. Nunc vel sem ut augue auctor consectetur sed et turpis. Proin commodo libero tincidunt ex sollicitudin commodo. Sed rhoncus lacus eget semper luctus. Quisque vulputate, dui id egestas feugiat, turpis metus ullamcorper risus, id blandit nibh augue eget purus. Suspendisse ac ornare massa, a vehicula est. Maecenas vitae ligula vel nisi vestibulum egestas. Phasellus et sapien eu sapien tincidunt dapibus id ac magna. Sed maximus orci diam, eu tristique metus luctus at. Morbi venenatis lacus arcu, ut porta metus rutrum a. Sed rhoncus condimentum odio eget lobortis. In non mi id urna porttitor vulputate blandit sit amet neque. In non purus non ipsum dignissim varius.

Praesent pretium pretium erat, vitae eleifend nulla semper sed. Duis placerat enim eget lorem efficitur porttitor. Ut in lectus tristique, vulputate velit volutpat, tempus mauris. Praesent a laoreet ipsum. In quis scelerisque elit, quis finibus lectus. Sed viverra tincidunt metus, et efficitur neque rhoncus consectetur. Integer facilisis ipsum ac massa porttitor, non pulvinar ipsum aliquam. In eget faucibus velit, finibus vehicula dui. Quisque venenatis diam lectus.

Mauris vitae suscipit dolor. Curabitur a scelerisque felis, vel varius lacus. Vivamus molestie magna dolor, in sodales ex finibus commodo. Praesent bibendum tellus sapien, sit amet facilisis sem dignissim nec. Sed vitae feugiat magna, non fringilla purus. Cras ornare sapien eget tincidunt placerat. Nam tristique, sapien nec pellentesque cursus, arcu magna commodo tortor, nec efficitur nisl dolor sed sapien. Donec volutpat ipsum est, sed congue magna efficitur et. Donec sodales scelerisque turpis, id aliquam libero ultrices id. Vivamus tempus varius nisl eu ornare. Vestibulum vitae lobortis odio. Morbi odio urna, facilisis a hendrerit ut, viverra eget augue. Phasellus ultricies eleifend lorem, sed aliquam nunc malesuada sit amet. In sem nisl, maximus ut tristique nec, imperdiet ut odio. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla maximus, neque ac sollicitudin mollis, elit diam maximus massa, ac elementum quam quam ultricies velit.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed odio mauris, aliquam vitae ante et, gravida vestibulum turpis. Aenean maximus ipsum gravida mauris molestie, sollicitudin ultricies massa consectetur. Etiam aliquet augue eu dui porta dapibus. Sed tristique eu arcu non pharetra. Morbi convallis condimentum lobortis. Praesent vel massa accumsan, ultricies orci eget, lobortis diam. Ut imperdiet augue vel nunc pulvinar, in suscipit nibh tincidunt.

Donec non hendrerit magna. Nam aliquam eget purus faucibus lobortis. Nulla facilisi. Quisque viverra neque massa, ut consectetur tortor sodales non. Nunc vel sem ut augue auctor consectetur sed et turpis. Proin commodo libero tincidunt ex sollicitudin commodo. Sed rhoncus lacus eget semper luctus. Quisque vulputate, dui id egestas feugiat, turpis metus ullamcorper risus, id blandit nibh augue eget purus. Suspendisse ac ornare massa, a vehicula est. Maecenas vitae ligula vel nisi vestibulum egestas. Phasellus et sapien eu sapien tincidunt dapibus id ac magna. Sed maximus orci diam, eu tristique metus luctus at. Morbi venenatis lacus arcu, ut porta metus rutrum a. Sed rhoncus condimentum odio eget lobortis. In non mi id urna porttitor vulputate blandit sit amet neque. In non purus non ipsum dignissim varius.

Praesent pretium pretium erat, vitae eleifend nulla semper sed. Duis placerat enim eget lorem efficitur porttitor. Ut in lectus tristique, vulputate velit volutpat, tempus mauris. Praesent a laoreet ipsum. In quis scelerisque elit, quis finibus lectus. Sed viverra tincidunt metus, et efficitur neque rhoncus consectetur. Integer facilisis ipsum ac massa porttitor, non pulvinar ipsum aliquam. In eget faucibus velit, finibus vehicula dui. Quisque venenatis diam lectus.

Mauris vitae suscipit dolor. Curabitur a scelerisque felis, vel varius lacus. Vivamus molestie magna dolor, in sodales ex finibus commodo. Praesent bibendum tellus sapien, sit amet facilisis sem dignissim nec. Sed vitae feugiat magna, non fringilla purus. Cras ornare sapien eget tincidunt placerat. Nam tristique, sapien nec pellentesque cursus, arcu magna commodo tortor, nec efficitur nisl dolor sed sapien. Donec volutpat ipsum est, sed congue magna efficitur et. Donec sodales scelerisque turpis, id aliquam libero ultrices id. Vivamus tempus varius nisl eu ornare. Vestibulum vitae lobortis odio. Morbi odio urna, facilisis a hendrerit ut, viverra eget augue. Phasellus ultricies eleifend lorem, sed aliquam nunc malesuada sit amet. In sem nisl, maximus ut tristique nec, imperdiet ut odio. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla maximus, neque ac sollicitudin mollis, elit diam maximus massa, ac elementum quam quam ultricies velit.

Events

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SENSITIVE SANTA

Sensitive Santa is an event for families with children with all spectrums of special
needs, providing a more controlled and welcoming environment to visit The Santa Photo
Experience. Simple adjustments are made to reduce sensory stimuli (muted lights, music and waiting to visit Santa at activity tables) to create a calming environment.

This event will take place prior to store openings on Sunday, December 2nd and December 9th from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. The event is free, and Santa photo packages will be available for purchase.

Sensitive Santa is held in partnership with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the cause, prevention, treatment and cure for autism.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed odio mauris, aliquam vitae ante et, gravida vestibulum turpis. Aenean maximus ipsum gravida mauris molestie, sollicitudin ultricies massa consectetur. Etiam aliquet augue eu dui porta dapibus. Sed tristique eu arcu non pharetra. Morbi convallis condimentum lobortis. Praesent vel massa accumsan, ultricies orci eget, lobortis diam. Ut imperdiet augue vel nunc pulvinar, in suscipit nibh tincidunt.

Donec non hendrerit magna. Nam aliquam eget purus faucibus lobortis. Nulla facilisi. Quisque viverra neque massa, ut consectetur tortor sodales non. Nunc vel sem ut augue auctor consectetur sed et turpis. Proin commodo libero tincidunt ex sollicitudin commodo. Sed rhoncus lacus eget semper luctus. Quisque vulputate, dui id egestas feugiat, turpis metus ullamcorper risus, id blandit nibh augue eget purus. Suspendisse ac ornare massa, a vehicula est. Maecenas vitae ligula vel nisi vestibulum egestas. Phasellus et sapien eu sapien tincidunt dapibus id ac magna. Sed maximus orci diam, eu tristique metus luctus at. Morbi venenatis lacus arcu, ut porta metus rutrum a. Sed rhoncus condimentum odio eget lobortis. In non mi id urna porttitor vulputate blandit sit amet neque. In non purus non ipsum dignissim varius.

Praesent pretium pretium erat, vitae eleifend nulla semper sed. Duis placerat enim eget lorem efficitur porttitor. Ut in lectus tristique, vulputate velit volutpat, tempus mauris. Praesent a laoreet ipsum. In quis scelerisque elit, quis finibus lectus. Sed viverra tincidunt metus, et efficitur neque rhoncus consectetur. Integer facilisis ipsum ac massa porttitor, non pulvinar ipsum aliquam. In eget faucibus velit, finibus vehicula dui. Quisque venenatis diam lectus.

Mauris vitae suscipit dolor. Curabitur a scelerisque felis, vel varius lacus. Vivamus molestie magna dolor, in sodales ex finibus commodo. Praesent bibendum tellus sapien, sit amet facilisis sem dignissim nec. Sed vitae feugiat magna, non fringilla purus. Cras ornare sapien eget tincidunt placerat. Nam tristique, sapien nec pellentesque cursus, arcu magna commodo tortor, nec efficitur nisl dolor sed sapien. Donec volutpat ipsum est, sed congue magna efficitur et. Donec sodales scelerisque turpis, id aliquam libero ultrices id. Vivamus tempus varius nisl eu ornare. Vestibulum vitae lobortis odio. Morbi odio urna, facilisis a hendrerit ut, viverra eget augue. Phasellus ultricies eleifend lorem, sed aliquam nunc malesuada sit amet. In sem nisl, maximus ut tristique nec, imperdiet ut odio. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla maximus, neque ac sollicitudin mollis, elit diam maximus massa, ac elementum quam quam ultricies velit.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed odio mauris, aliquam vitae ante et, gravida vestibulum turpis. Aenean maximus ipsum gravida mauris molestie, sollicitudin ultricies massa consectetur. Etiam aliquet augue eu dui porta dapibus. Sed tristique eu arcu non pharetra. Morbi convallis condimentum lobortis. Praesent vel massa accumsan, ultricies orci eget, lobortis diam. Ut imperdiet augue vel nunc pulvinar, in suscipit nibh tincidunt.

Donec non hendrerit magna. Nam aliquam eget purus faucibus lobortis. Nulla facilisi. Quisque viverra neque massa, ut consectetur tortor sodales non. Nunc vel sem ut augue auctor consectetur sed et turpis. Proin commodo libero tincidunt ex sollicitudin commodo. Sed rhoncus lacus eget semper luctus. Quisque vulputate, dui id egestas feugiat, turpis metus ullamcorper risus, id blandit nibh augue eget purus. Suspendisse ac ornare massa, a vehicula est. Maecenas vitae ligula vel nisi vestibulum egestas. Phasellus et sapien eu sapien tincidunt dapibus id ac magna. Sed maximus orci diam, eu tristique metus luctus at. Morbi venenatis lacus arcu, ut porta metus rutrum a. Sed rhoncus condimentum odio eget lobortis. In non mi id urna porttitor vulputate blandit sit amet neque. In non purus non ipsum dignissim varius.

Praesent pretium pretium erat, vitae eleifend nulla semper sed. Duis placerat enim eget lorem efficitur porttitor. Ut in lectus tristique, vulputate velit volutpat, tempus mauris. Praesent a laoreet ipsum. In quis scelerisque elit, quis finibus lectus. Sed viverra tincidunt metus, et efficitur neque rhoncus consectetur. Integer facilisis ipsum ac massa porttitor, non pulvinar ipsum aliquam. In eget faucibus velit, finibus vehicula dui. Quisque venenatis diam lectus.

Mauris vitae suscipit dolor. Curabitur a scelerisque felis, vel varius lacus. Vivamus molestie magna dolor, in sodales ex finibus commodo. Praesent bibendum tellus sapien, sit amet facilisis sem dignissim nec. Sed vitae feugiat magna, non fringilla purus. Cras ornare sapien eget tincidunt placerat. Nam tristique, sapien nec pellentesque cursus, arcu magna commodo tortor, nec efficitur nisl dolor sed sapien. Donec volutpat ipsum est, sed congue magna efficitur et. Donec sodales scelerisque turpis, id aliquam libero ultrices id. Vivamus tempus varius nisl eu ornare. Vestibulum vitae lobortis odio. Morbi odio urna, facilisis a hendrerit ut, viverra eget augue. Phasellus ultricies eleifend lorem, sed aliquam nunc malesuada sit amet. In sem nisl, maximus ut tristique nec, imperdiet ut odio. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla maximus, neque ac sollicitudin mollis, elit diam maximus massa, ac elementum quam quam ultricies velit.