Sensory Therapies and Research [STAR] Center, just south of Denver, which treats about 50 children a week for a curious mix of problems. Some can't seem to get their motors in gear: they have low muscle tone and a tendency to respond only minimally to conversation and invitations to play. Others are revved too high: they annoy other children by crashing into them or hugging too hard. Many can't handle common noises or the feel of clothing on their skin. A number just seem clumsy. Adults can remember kids like these from their own childhood. They were the ones called losers, loners, klutzes and troublemakers. At STAR Center they wear a more benign label: children with sensory processing disorder (SPD).
Never heard of it? You're in good company. Neither have many pediatricians, neurologists, psychologists and teachers. But in the parallel universe of occupational therapy, which focuses on the more primal "occupations" of life--dressing, eating, working, playing--SPD is commonly treated.
Amazing how people are just now discovering that these things exist.