Anyone with Sensory Processing Disorder?

Hey guys,

Quick story before my question:
I am super being on homework this week (no surprise there) and sat down and just heard too much noise. My neighbor was in outside talking on the phone with someone on speaker (sounded like she was talking on a walkie talkie), and the tv from my fiancé in the other room.

I had recently purchased ear plugs for a job this summer, and decided to use them to concentrate on my homework. But after I put them in, I felt this was of relief that has never really happened before. Just going from all these little sounds to absolutely nothing was just incredible.

I have to go back to the doctor soon for ADD, and I was thinking of getting tested for sensory processing disorder. I think I have read that it is possible to have both. I’ve looked at symptoms, and I know you should never self-diagnose, but I struggle with a number of them.

What is your experience with sensory processing disorder? Is this just ADD? What is the difference between the two?

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I don’t think I have SPD, but I have always been very sensitive to noise disturbance, figured it was part of extremely easily distractable ADHD symptoms. Like when taking a school exam, and we were mandated to use pencils rather than pens, the scratching from everyone else’s pencils would annoy the hell out of me and distract me from being able to concentrate on my own exam… And when I recently bought a pair of decent ear plugs, it was so nice! I also almost always wear over-ear, sound-cancelling headphones whenever I’m out of the house, and not with someone, listening to music so I don’t have to be distracted by all the sounds around me. Always thought it was just tye ADHD, and hating the distraction…:sweat_smile:


Same here. Unless I am hyperfocused, I notice most of the sounds around me. They don’t necessary distract me (unless I am already stressed out about something or tired, and highly distractible) but I am aware. It was actually useful in that I usually knew what was going on around me :slight_smile:

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Hi, Andi!
I haven’t been officially diagnosed with SPD, but I’ve shown signs of hypersensitivity all of my life and I’m ADHD.
My experience is that there’s definitely a difference between common sensory distractions and any sort of sensory difficulty .
Getting distracted by your environment is pretty typical, but it sounds more like you’re talking about a degree of overstimulation? And that, as far as I’m aware, is something experienced in hypersensitivity. As someone who deals with both ADHD and hypersensitivity, it’s always been difficult for me to draw a line between where one starts and one ends, because the symptoms can overlap, but I do know that they both exist and they’re both different.
From the research I’ve done, it’s common to have both but one isn’t caused by the other.
I hope you’re doing okay!


Hey I can answer this one (I think)!

I was treated for Sensory Integration Dysfunction when I was a kid - SPD is a relatively new diagnosis. It seems to me like I probably still have SPD as an adult.

To me I’m having an ADHD sensory moment when something dominates my attention for seemingly no reason - especially when I’m trying to do something else - and I don’t have a visceral reaction to it.
EX: When I’m sitting in a meeting room and I jerk my head to look at a bird flying by

SPD sensory moments seem like they’re more consistent and I feel a lot more unpleasantness in my body - if that makes sense - like, if I get corn starch or another powdery sticky substance on my hands I’ll get nauseous, or when I walk outside in bright light it genuinely hurts my eyes.

There are some crossover areas, like difficulty focusing period with background noise that’s hitting my SPD-ometer.

Hope that helps!

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I don’t know about SPD, but the way I explain my hearing sensitivity is like this: the sounds aren’t equal. It’s one thing to hear ice clinking in a cup, it’s another thing entirely to have that be the same volume as your friend talking.

Don’t know if this helps any, but that’s my favorite example :slightly_smiling_face:

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