Symptom Tests for Adults

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

Your aversion to itchy fabrics, scented candles, and crowds could be a sign of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Take this self-test to better understand daily SPD symptoms, and take the results to an occupational therapist trained in sensory integration and ADHD.

Medically reviewed by Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A.

What causes sensory overload? If you find itchy tags unbearable, loud music intolerable, and perfume simply sickening, you may have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) — a condition that disrupts the way the brain takes in, organizes, and uses the messages received through the eyes, ears, muscles, joints, skin and inner ears. SPD may cause sensory overload, but it may also cause you to 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

Updated on September 25, 2019

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  1. I just want to caution people that this self-test is oddly specific in its choices for describing sensory processing issues, and is therefore quite limited in actual usefulness as an indicator. SPD doesn’t have to manifest like this at all in order to legitimately exist.

    Therefore, I encourage anyone who suspects that they have sensory processing issues to take their results here with a large grain of salt, and keep on learning/seeking professional input about spd regardless results if your experiences are telling you something may be up.

    1. Thanks, Rosie! Since the test said not to take it to heart and so did you, I’m definitely not going to feel affected by this one multi-choice questionnaire. I’m searching for an ADHD specialist to get this all sorted out.

    2. I agree, some of the questions were way too specific, which caused me to choose an answer that disagreed with a part of the question that i agreed with, if that makes any sense.

    3. Thank you! I made an account to say this and then realized you already had haha. I also found the questions too specific, and kind of invalidating. For instance, I need TIGHT clothes, because clothes “flowing around” gives me anxiety. I also LOVE the way sand feels, I can’t imagine not liking it, but my own hairs touching my shoulders makes me want to scream.

  2. If anyone has a diversion to sand, google “sand socks”. Think a sock version of water shoes. They are actually used by sand volleyball players to protect their feet from hot sand, but I used them to keep the sand off my feet and was actually able to enjoy a beach vacation.

  3. I cannot focus on what anyone’s saying if water is running and if someone talks to me or near me when I’m on the phone i flip out . Radio static drives me up the wall and i have to stop it immediately. I hear every Single sound in the air and environment over the sound of the voice of whoever im talking to. Mental exhaustion for sure

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