A direct link between sociability and sensory processing disorder?

I was recently notified of a new paper directly linking sociability (or difficulties in that domain) with concurrent sensory processing difficulties. The paper is Fotoglou, A. et al (2023) ‘Sociability: The key to sensory processing disorder’, Brazilian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 2 (No.1), p. 82-97. The paper also specifically indicates the use of Intensive Interaction as a potentially remedial therapeutic intervention to be considered in such cases.

Now, I won’t try to summarise the paper myself here (although I do set out the abstract and give the link to the full paper below) – but I think this is a very interesting area requiring further research.

From my own thinking about this issue, I think it is now very well-accepted that the physical/physiological and the mental/psychological aspects of our individual beings cannot be fully separated from each other (they are closely interrelated and, in many ways, mutually interdependent). But also our individual psychological well-being is closely related to and interdependent on the nature and successes (or otherwise) of our social interactivity and engagement (again, I think this is now very well-accepted).

So perhaps it should come as little surprise if some aspects of our sensory-seeking physiological selves were, in some triple overlapping Venn diagram-type relationship, also to some degree related to, and interdependent on the nature and successes (or otherwise) of our general social engagement (what the authors in this paper reference as a ‘Biopsychosocial model’!). So, from a rational perspective this seems to make perfect sense – so perhaps some empirical support from a paper like this wouldn’t go amiss in furthering our thinking in this area; perhaps more specifically about the potential physiological and/or sensory processing outcomes of Intensive Interaction!

Anyway, the ten academic authors of this paper set out their case on this hugely significant issue in their new collaborative paper.

Paper Abstract: Social communication and sensory processing disorder are two factors that interact with each other and the difficulties they find in them impact on different neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. More specifically, sociability is shown to play a key role in dealing with sensory processing difficulties and the interventions related to it can be implemented in a school setting as well [as] within a therapeutic setting and even at home.

The design of these interventions with a focus on sociability aims on the one hand to reduce sensory difficulties and on the other hand to provide meaningful communication when working with children with autism or severe or generalized learning difficulties. This article’s goal is to compile research findings regarding the impact of sociability on children with sensory difficulties through a literature review.

Specifically, many interventions with pillars the social communication have been studied to help children with autism and other syndromes. The outcomes demonstrated a direct link between sociability and sensory processing disorder with interventions and therapeutic programs implemented in many nations with favorable outcomes in many facets of how children with these issues behave.

One of the most effective interventions that helps [is] Intensive Interaction with high contribution to the sensory regulation of children mainly with autism. Students with neurodevelopmental problems were the samples for the interventions’ participants. Application of these programs on a weekly basis, two to three times, is helpful in the right direction.

You can download the full-text article as a pdf. file at: https://www.brazilianjournalofscience.com.br/revista/article/view/214/142

Full Reference: Fotoglou, A., Moraiti, I., Stergios. V., Ashley, P. E., Vogindroukas, I., Demeter Speis, P., Papantoniou, S., Chrysouli, K., Karabatzaki, Z. & Stathopoulou, A. (2023) ‘Sociability: The key to sensory processing disorder’, Brazilian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 2 (No.1), p. 82-97.

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