Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan O'Conner

Second Advisor

Gretchen Kranz Irvine


Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition in which the natural process of taking in or receiving stimuli from your surroundings and body are intemrpted due to a neurological impairment of normal sensory processing. The ability to function normally when presented with sensory stimuli is taken for granted by most. Sensory processing includes five external senses: sight, touch, sound, smell, taste, and two internal senses: balance and muscle/joint control. Dr. Jean Ayres who coined the term SPD first pioneered SPD. The existence of SPD and the classification of the inability to successfully process information as an actual disorder are contentious. SPD is not clinically recognized a stand-alone diagnosis, but rather a common symptom of other diagnoses, such as Autism. As a result, the occurrences and misunderstandings in relation to SPD are high in frequency. This qualitative study is a case study, which reveals the chronological events of one adolescent, Jamie's experience living with SPD. It describes the effects it has on his home life and schooling process, and how occupational therapy (OT) intervention has helped manage the symptoms of SPD.


SC 11.MAE.2014.Trebtoske.J