Sensory Processing and ADHD a Bigger Problem for Inattentive ADHD

Sensory Processing and ADHD a Problem with Other Co-existing Problems

We have spoken before that ADHD Inattentive occurs with many other problems.  These include depression, anxiety, sleeping problems, vision problems, and auditory issues and now we learn from a new study, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  ADHD a diagnosis requiring a lot of parental support requires even more support when the ADHD child has SPD as well.

When children have Sensory Processing problems with ADHD, a host of other problems occur.  This, according to a new study by the Journal of Research in Developmental Disabilities, is true for all subtypes of ADHD but it is the Inattentive ADHD that suffer the most.

ADHD Inattentive

The study found that all children with ADHD were more likely to have sensory processing problems and because of these sensory processing difficulties, these children were less likely to participate in leisure activities. The kids that were the least involved in activities outside the home were the ADHD Inattentive kids.  These children are likely to not engage in social activities because of social problems, and now we know that they will also avoid activities because of their sensory processing problems.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing disorder is sometimes called sensory integration disorder or sensory defensiveness.  People with sensory processing problems will have problems with loud noises, bright lights, ‘scratchy’ tags, motion sickness problems and balance and coordination problems.  Their sensory systems malfunction is a way that makes certain stimuli uncomfortably debilitating.  People with SPD will avoid activities that worsen their sensory defensiveness.

Childhood ADHD a disorder with many other co-morbidities, did not need this.  Sensory processing problems with ADHD will make our kids less likely to get involved in many leisure activities such as sports or other after school activities. Sporting activities often require balance, coordination and (as far as kids with SPD and ADHD are concerned) scratchy uniforms. No child with SPD wants any part of activites such as these.  

Activities such as swimming or track and field are sometimes a better match for kids with SPD and ADHD as these require individual effort, no scratchy uniforms and no more balance and coordination than is required to walk.  

Sensory processing and ADHD a poor combination will make our ADHD Inattentive children less likely to participate in leisure activities.  This may lead to more social isolation and, if not corrected, can lead to depression. Unless we can get our kids with ADHD Inattentive involved in some leisure activity, these kids will be isolated, inactive and more prone to other health problems as well.

ADHD a cognitive disorder combined with SPD a coordination, sensory defensiveness and balance disorder can make for a pretty miserable childhood existence.  You see now why I called this post, Sensory processing problems with ADHD a bigger problem for Inattentive ADHD.  As difficult as the prospect of this is, it is up to us as parents to see to it that are children get involved in activities that they enjoy, can comfortably master and where there ADHD and SPD problems are not worsened .

Research in Developmental Disabilities. 2011 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]

The relationship between sensory processing difficulties and leisure activity preference of children with different types of ADHD.

The relationship between sensory processing diffic... [Res Dev Disabil. 2011] - PubMed result


  1. Cannot disagree with these Observations and Study....You have to find your own way. "Float Your Own Boat". I golf, cross country ski,boating, target shooting and other things I can do as an individual or with a few people. I do things at my own pace and my way. I am a Team Player" for my team which is ME.


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