Symptom Tests

[Self-Test] Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in Adults

Do you suffer sensory overload? Could your aversion to itchy fabrics, scented candles, and crowds be a sign of sensory processing disorder? Is clumsiness a symptom of SPD? Take this self-test to better understand daily SPD symptoms, and take the results to an occupational therapist trained in sensory integration and ADD.

Reviewed by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) disrupts the way the brain takes in, organizes, and uses the messages received through the eyes, ears, muscles, joints, skin and inner ears. If you suffer sensory overload, you may find itchy tags unbearable, loud music intolerable, and perfume simply sickening. Alternatively, SPD may mean that you crave sensory stimulation through deep-tissue massages, winding motorcycle rides, or skydiving adventures. The manifestations of SPD are varied — and sometimes contradictory — making diagnosis difficult.

If you avoid hugs, hate flossing your teeth, just can’t tolerate scented candles, have always felt clumsy, or can’t get dressed without a mirror, take this self-test to better understand the daily manifestations of SPD symptoms in adults. Then share the results with an occupational therapist or a medical professional who is knowledgeable about SPD for an evaluation.

Adapted from the SPD Foundation’s Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist designed to to screen the possibility of sensory processing disorder. Note: This is not a diagnostic tool. If you have concerns about possible Sensory Processing Disorder see a mental health professional. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. Screener for personal use only.


Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.


What To Do Next:

1. Take This Test: ADHD Symptoms in Adults
2. Take This Test: Emotional Hyperarousal in Adults with ADHD
3. Take This Test: Executive Function Disorder in Adults
4. Download Are Your Senses in Overdrive?
5. Read Hypersensitivity Is Not Imagined
6. Find an ADHD or SPD specialist nearby in our ADDitude Directory
7. Research Treatments for Sensory Processing Disorder
8. Listen to “Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder in Adolescents & Adults” – an Expert Webinar with Carol Kranowitz, M.A.
9. Consult Our Post-Diagnosis Guide for Adults

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  1. I was diagnosed with SPD as a child I think. It has gotten worst in my teen and young adult years. I struggle so much. Also SPD can be a diagnosis on its own, or it can be a symptom of Autism and/or ADHD. Living life as an adult woman with ADHD, SPD and a rare genetic disease that causes social/emotional, mental, learning, physical and developmental disabilities is SO CHALLENGING!!! I feel like there is not enough support, advocacy and resources! For example, I’ve been trying to go sweater shopping for the past 2 weeks, but my sensory problems and anxiety stops me every time. I procrastinate another day. I need someone to go with me, to get the job done!

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