Is It Sensory Processing Disorder?


My son is a very picky eater. He is very tactile and hates many kinds of textures. What could be causing this?

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Children with ADHD may also have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). As part of this disorder, they might have difficulty with gross or fine motor skills, skin that is sensitive to touch, and/or difficulty maintaining an upright position. Some children with this SPD are oversensitive to smell, taste, and textures.

If you notice that your son has difficulty with fine motor skills (coloring, cutting, handwriting), hand-eye coordination (catching, hitting a ball), or gross motor skills (clumsy walking gait, often trips), along with the tactile sensitivity, discuss these concerns with his family physician and school professionals.

An occupational therapist is trained in SPD, and can work with you to minimize these problems. If your son doesn’t show any of these symptoms, he might just be a picky eater.

Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
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