What is SPD?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

What it means and how it looks in daily life

SPD is a neurological disorder that causes people to have difficulty organizing and responding to information that comes in through the senses. Unlike those with impairments in sight or hearing, for example, people with SPD are able to take in information through their senses, but that information gets “mixed up” in their brains — causing responses that are not appropriate for the context. 

Some people are over-responsive. They are repelled by bright lights and rooms full of noisy people, and they hate being touched or getting their hands messy.

Others are under-responsive. They need extra sensory input to regulate their bodies, so they jump, climb, crash, and squeeze all day long. They seem wild for constantly moving, touching things, being the loudest one in the room, and are unable to sit still for long.

And some people have a mix of both. Someone may be over-responsive to noise and cover their ears when a firetruck comes by and they need noise-cancelling headphones to focus in school. Yet that same person may need the input of a weighted blanket to sleep or their body feels out of control.

8 senses

How we experience the world around us

We all learned about the five senses in elementary school — taste, touch, smell, hearing, and seeing. And these are all important for giving our bodies sensory input.

But did you know we have three other senses?

The Vestibular sense is made up of parts of the inner ear and brain that control balance and eye movement. Difficulties with the vestibular system can cause clumsiness, reading problems, imbalance, trouble focusing, light sensitivity, dissiness, forgetfulness, and hearing changes.

Proprioception refers to the way joints and muscles send messages to the brain to help coordinate movement. It’s the idea of “knowing where my body is in space.” It tells our bodies how much force to appply to movement — such as how hard to press a pencil to write, how tight to give a hug, and how to keep our bodies in a chair. 

Interoception helps you feel and understand what’s going on inside your body. Receptors in your organs, including our skin, send information about the inside of your body to your brain. This regulates vital functions such as body temperature, hunger, thirst, digestion, and heart rate.

People who struggle with interoception may not know when they are hungry, full, hot, cold, thirsty, nauseated, itchy, or ticklish. They can also have trouble feeling their emotions, as they may not be tuned in to body cues that interpret emotion.

How our products help

with spd, autism, anxiety, adhd

KnotSense offers tools that provide calming or stimulating sensory input. Our goal is to offer products that can be used every day without causing the person using them to stand out as “different.” 

Our sensory bracelets and fidgets help kids focus in class; help office workers calm their anxiety; and help people who pick their skin, chew on their clothing, and pull their hair focus that sensory need onto a socially acceptable tool.

All of the products we offer are handmade or curated to be the most helpful for both children and adults with sensory  needs.