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The Stepping Stones Group - Opportunities - November 2023

What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and what are its potential causes and effects on children's development?

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA

October 16, 2023

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Question

What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and what are its potential causes and effects on children's development?

Answer

Sensory integration is the neurological process that organizes sensations from one’s own body and the environment into useable information. Basically, we filter and process information from the outside and also from inside our own bodies (STAR Institute, 2023). Our ability to process sensory data usually doesn’t require conscious thought. We don’t have to concentrate on smelling, tasting, or seeing, for example.

Pioneering OT Dr. Jean Ayres (1979) likened SPD to a neurological “traffic jam” that prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. Put differently, SPD is an irregularity or disorder in brain function that makes it difficult to integrate sensory input efficiently (Galina-Simal et al., 2020). 

Among other things, children with SPD often have developmental motor disorder and experience difficulty with gross and fine motor tasks (O’ Gallagher, 2023). For example, my son Mark didn’t walk until he was almost 1.5 years old. He couldn’t zip up his jacket, tie his shoes, or kick a ball until he was older than most children. These children often appear clumsy.

Several different factors, including genetics, maternal substance abuse during pregnancy, birth trauma, viruses, and lack of environmental stimulation, can cause SPD. Other possible causes include prematurity and neurological disorders (STAR Institute, 2023).

This ATE is an excerpt from the course 20Q: Sensory and Fine Motor Activities for Children with Communication and Sensory Processing Disorders, authored by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA.


celeste roseberry mckibbin

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University.  She is a Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at California State University, Sacramento.  Dr. Roseberry is also currently a part-time itinerant speech pathologist in San Juan Unified School District where she provides direct services to students from preschool through high school.  Dr. Roseberry’s primary research interests are in the areas of assessment and treatment of culturally and linguistically diverse students with communication disorders as well as service delivery to students from low-income backgrounds.  She has over 70 publications, including 17 books, and has made over 600 presentations at the local, state, national, and international levels.  Dr. Roseberry is a Fellow of ASHA, and winner of ASHA’s Certificate of Recognition for Special Contributions in Multicultural Affairs as well as the Excellence in Diversity Award from CAPCSD. She has received ASHA’s Honors of the Association.  She received the national presidential Daily Point of Light Award for her volunteer work in building literacy skills of children in poverty. Dr. Roseberry lived in the Philippines as the daughter of Baptist missionaries from ages 6 to 17.


Related Courses

20Q: Providing Supportive Intervention for Trauma-Exposed Students with Communication Disorders
Presented by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
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Presenter

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Course: #10310Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'This course was informative for those professionals working with children with trauma of all varieties'   Read Reviews
The definition of childhood trauma, the experiences that constitute trauma in a student’s life, and the concept of trauma-informed intervention are described in this course. Practical, hands-on suggestions are provided for strategies that support students with communication disorders who have experienced trauma, and activities to improve their social and executive function skills.

20Q: Sensory and Fine Motor Activities for Children with Communication and Sensory Processing Disorders
Presented by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Text

Presenter

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Course: #10699Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Great tips and tricks to help improve motor skills during speech!'   Read Reviews
Speech-language pathologists are receiving more referrals of students with communication disorders with accompanying Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and fine motor delays. The nature of these delays, their impact on communication and behavior, and signs to watch for are discussed in this course. Free and fun activities that can be integrated into therapy to boost these skills simultaneously with communication are described.

20Q: English Learners and Developmental Language Disorder - ​Strategies to Develop Academic Vocabulary Skills
Presented by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
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Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Course: #10266Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'I liked the question and answer format'   Read Reviews
This course discusses Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in English Learners (EL). Specific, research-based strategies are provided for developing academic vocabulary skills and phonological awareness skills in this group of students.

20Q: A Pre-assessment Process for Differentiating Language Difference from Language Impairment in English Learners in Schools, Part 1
Presented by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
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Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Course: #9461Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'I liked the table that provided the universal indicators of a language impairment'   Read Reviews
This 2-part series is geared to public school SLPs who serve English Learners with potential language impairment. Part 1 describes research-based, practical strategies, such as gathering thorough case histories and utilizing universal indicators of language impairment, as part of a comprehensive pre-assessment process designed to help SLPs differentiate between language impairment and language difference in English learners with environmental challenges such as poverty, limited schooling experience, and lack of home literacy experience.

20Q: A Pre-assessment Process for Differentiating Language Difference from Language Impairment in English Learners in Schools, Part 2
Presented by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Text

Presenter

Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, CCC-SLP, F-ASHA
Course: #9462Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'This was a helpful part 2 and to be reminded that the intervention should be tried for 5-6 months'   Read Reviews
This 2-part series is geared to public school SLPs who serve English Learners with potential language impairment. Part 2 will describe components and implementation strategies for Response to Intervention (RtI), as one part of a pre-assessment process designed to help SLPs differentiate between language impairment and language difference in English learners with environmental challenges, such as poverty, limited schooling experience, and lack of home literacy experience.

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