SPD and Co-Morbidity with Other Disabilities

Common Symptoms Of "Look-Alike" Diagnoses And SPD Comorbidity;

A Comparison Between Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, and the Gifted Child

It's no wonder we are confused!!

Sensory Processing Disorder

Older Child (although may apply to some younger children)

__ easily distracted

__ difficulty hearing adult voices over background sounds

__ cannot follow directions without constant verbal reminders

__ cannot complete more than one direction at a time

__ does not complete tasks

__ dislikes changes in plans or routines

__ overly excited when people come to house

__ hides when anyone comes over

__ poor speech, articulation

__ stubborn, uncooperative, defiant

__ erratic sleep patterns

__ does not like loud noises or commotion

__ craves/avoids touching

__ unusually low/high energy

__ "falls apart" frequently

__ has trouble making choices

__ immature, baby talk, cries over inconsequential things

__ short attention span

__ won't join the group

__ clumsy, spacey, lazy

__ impulsive

__ speaks unusually loud/ talks too soft to hear

__ misses when placing objects on table

__ bumps into people and things

__ acts wild when in a group

__ forgets shoes, socks, homework, assignments

__ leaves the table during meals

__ difficulty with handwriting

(From Symptoms Of SPD, Michelle Morris)

Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder

DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD

I. Either A or B:

A. Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:


1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.

2. Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.

3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

4. Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).

5. Often has trouble organizing activities.

6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).

7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).

8. Is often easily distracted.

9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.

B. Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:


1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.

2. Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.

3. Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).

4. Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.

5. Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".

6. Often talks excessively.


1. Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.

2. Often has trouble waiting one's turn.

3. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.

III. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).

IV. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.

Auditory Processing Disorder

__ Difficulty following simple, or complicated directions

__ Difficulty sustaining attention

__ Easily upset in noisy/chaotic environments

__ Guesses, or blurts out answers prematurely

__ Cannot remain seated when expected to

__ Low frustration tolerance

__ Difficulty waiting in line

__ Easily distracted

__ Disorganized

__ Forgetful

__ Fidgety

Common Signs Of A Gifted Child

__ Very alert

__ Rapid learner

__ Advanced vocabulary

__ Very observant

__ Very curious

__ Vivid imagination

__ High degree of creativity

__ Solved a 20 piece puzzle by age 3

__ High degree of math understanding by age 3

__ Intense interest in books

__ Interest in math games

__ Interest in puzzles

__ Interest in computers

__ Many talents

__ Great number of interests

__ Willing to invest time in interests

__ Intense reactions to frustration

__ Perfectionist in areas of interests

__ Chooses older companions

__ Highly competitive

__ Strong leadership ability

— Written by Michelle Morris

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