What Are the Different Types of Processing Disorders?

Jennifer Long
Jennifer Long
When a processing disorder occurs with sensory processing, sensations of the skin may be affected, such as the ability to detect temperature changes.
When a processing disorder occurs with sensory processing, sensations of the skin may be affected, such as the ability to detect temperature changes.

Processing disorders are any disorders that directly affect the brain’s ability to process information that comes from any of the senses properly. A processing disorder is grouped into one of four categories based on which area of processing has problems: sensory, visual, auditory, and language. Each of these areas can lead to different processing deficiencies.

Someone who suffers from a visual processing disorder may be unable to identify letters.
Someone who suffers from a visual processing disorder may be unable to identify letters.

Sensory processing disorders are one of the four possible types of processing disorders a person can have. A sensory disorder occurs when the central nervous system cannot properly process information that comes from the senses of the body. Although sensory processing encompasses all of the senses, vision and auditory processing are generally not included unless they are part of a complete processing disorder that involves multiple areas. When a disorder like this is determined to occur with sensory processing, the disorder most commonly affects sensations of the skin, sensitivity to temperature changes, and other such extreme sensitivities. The brain is not able to filter through all of the information effectively.

Auditory processing disorder may be caused by a problem in the auditory pathways.
Auditory processing disorder may be caused by a problem in the auditory pathways.

Visual disorders are strictly limited to visual processing. Someone who suffers from a disorder in this group has difficulty processing things that are seen. The sufferer may not be able to identify letters or determine differences in shapes. He or she can also have difficulties with background and foreground object selection. Visual memory, which is remembering recent things seen, can also suffer with this disorder.

Sensory processing disorder is related to sensations of the skin, such as touch.
Sensory processing disorder is related to sensations of the skin, such as touch.

Another group of disorders affects auditory processing. People who have a disorder in auditory processing do not properly process information gathered from sound. Background noises blend in with foreground sounds. Short-term sound information, such as lists or directions that have been spoken, cannot be easily recalled. Some people have difficulty distinguishing similar sounds, particularly words.

Language disorders commonly occur in conjunction with auditory disorders. In fact, the symptoms of this type of processing disorder are similar to or caused by those experienced with problematic auditory processing. Communicating through speech is difficult, especially if auditory information is not processed properly. A person may pause in the middle of words or use wrong words. Stuttering and sound repetition are common as well.

Treatment for processing disorders depends on the area affected. Although some types of processing problems cannot be completely cured, there are treatments to help reduce problems. For example, audiologists can help with hearing difficulties and speech therapists can work with language problems. Various specialists are able to increase function and help improve the sufferer’s quality of life.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • When a processing disorder occurs with sensory processing, sensations of the skin may be affected, such as the ability to detect temperature changes.
      By: Dasha Petrenko
      When a processing disorder occurs with sensory processing, sensations of the skin may be affected, such as the ability to detect temperature changes.
    • Someone who suffers from a visual processing disorder may be unable to identify letters.
      By: sdenness
      Someone who suffers from a visual processing disorder may be unable to identify letters.
    • Auditory processing disorder may be caused by a problem in the auditory pathways.
      By: Alila Medical Media
      Auditory processing disorder may be caused by a problem in the auditory pathways.
    • Sensory processing disorder is related to sensations of the skin, such as touch.
      By: Romolo Tavani
      Sensory processing disorder is related to sensations of the skin, such as touch.