Our senses! Thanks to them, our brains are constantly flooded with information about the world around us.
What may surprise you is that we're not all wired the same way, and some of us are unable to understand exactly what we're sensing. People with sensory processing disorder (SPD), a newly identified neurological condition, as well as those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are frequently misunderstood by others when they over- or under-react to sounds, sights, smells, tastes, touch, movement, balance, and feelings within their bodies.
In this guide, mental health counselor, SPD community advocate, and sensory adult Rachel S. Schneider, MA, MHC, helps us to make sense of sensory issues. Whether you're someone with sensory issues, a loved one supporting a sensory person, a professional, or someone that is curious about unusual and complex sensory experiences, this guide will answer your questions about life with sensory processing differences.
Illustrations by Kelly Dillon of the humorous illustrated sensory blog, Eating Off Plastic.
"Digging for information about adults with SPD? Eureka! You've struck gold! In this gem of a book, Rachel will gently, wisely, humorously help you unearth and sift through the "bits and pieces, the particularities and the behaviors" of your sensory life. With extrasensory grace gained through her own experiences growing up with SPD, and in her sparkling writing style, she will help you ‰ۥ at last ‰ۥ to understand your sensory issues and how to address them." Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA, author of The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up
Rachel S. Schneider, MA, MHC, is passionate about sensory issues and how they affect adults. She has a master's degree in mental health counseling from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University in New York City, and received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Rachel's graduate work in mental health came about from a life-long struggle to comprehend her own quirky needs and behaviors. After years of misdiagnosis, she was found to have SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) in 2010 at the age of 27. Since 2010, Rachel has become an advocate and leader in the adult SPD community. Her blog, Coming to My Senses serves as an intimate portrait of life as an adult with sensory issues.
Sharon Heller, PhD, is an author, developmental psychologist and consultant for sensory processing disorder and specializes in how poor nutrition, internal and external toxicity, drugs, and cranial/sacral misalignment create sensory processing problems, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems, and on how to heal holistically. She is the author of Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight. She received her master's degree from the University of Chicago and PhD from Loyola University of Chicago. For many years she suffered debilitating sensory defensiveness, head pressure, head fog, poor balance, visual processing problems, weakness, digestive problems and fatigue for which conventional medicine could offer neither diagnosis nor treatment. Exploring alternative health therapies, she slowly discovered the causes and treatments for her symptoms. Sequelae from head trauma suffered twenty years earlier drove her neurological symptoms, while Epstein Barr virus, Candida overgrowth, mercury poisoning and adrenal exhaustion drove her physical symptoms, all compounded by unrelenting distress. Neurocranial restructuring, biocranial therapy, magnetic resonance therapy, acupuncture and other alternative therapies, along with a raw food diet, detoxification, yoga, qi gong, and painting.
Together, we're always better. More fun, too.