Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Comorbidities

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Autism spectrum disorder is complex in and of itself but that complexity is only compounded by the comorbid conditions that can come with it. Some of these include sensory processing disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and seizures. Understanding the disorder and its comorbid conditions is challenging yet important for parents, medical professionals, and educators. A common comorbidity of autism spectrum disorder is sensory processing disorder. Sensory processing disorder is the breakdown in the way the nervous system receives sensory input and translates it into the appropriate responses, motor and behavioral (Sensory Processing Disorder Explained, 2014). In the normal process, the first step there is some kind of sensory input, second, the nervous system processes this input, and finally the nervous system translates it into an appropriate response. For example, the child receives sensory input when a teacher lightly touches his hand to get him back on task, his nervous system processes this input and sends signals to the brain, finally the brain translate it into an appropriate response. In this case, the child quickly gets back on task. However, with sensory processing disorder there is a breakdown somewhere along this cycle. A person who suffers from sensory processing disorder will often find it difficult to process sensory input. There can be over processing or under processing. An example of over processing would be a child painfully reacting to this teacher’s light touch. Although this teacher only lightly touched the child’s hand, this caused discomfort for the child. Over processing can make light, sound, clothing, and even food unbearable. Whereas, under processing occurs when a child does not detect ... ... middle of paper ... Greenspan, S. I., & Salmon, J. (1996). The challenging child: Understanding, raising, and enjoying the five "difficult" types of children. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). (2013, August 9). Symptoms. Retrieved from Sensory Processing Disorder Explained | SPD Foundation. (2014, February 19). Sensory Processing Disorder Explained | SPD Foundation. Retrieved from Steensel, F. J., Bögels, S. M., & Perrin, S. (2011, July 07). Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from

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