The DSM: Grassroots Campaign for Recognition of SPD Underway

SPD is one of twelve diagnoses submitted by "outside sources" still being considered by the APA for inclusion in the DSM-5. One of 12 from almost certainly hundreds of submissions. The SPD Foundation has been working for over 10 years trying to gain recognition by conducting some pretty amazing research into the disorder with groups from MIT, Yale and Duke. The Foundation is stepping up their advocacy campaign through some old fashioned grassroots organizing in order to support SPD.

Denver, CO, February 24, 2010 --( On February 10, 2010, the American Psychiatric Association released a draft of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5). Included with this draft was a list of disorders submitted by "outside sources" still being considered for inclusion in the next iteration of the DSM. Sensory Processing Disorder is included in this list.

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and its supporters are currently launching a public comment campaign designed to ensure that Sensory Processing Disorder gets the recognition and support it deserves, beginning with inclusion in the next DSM-5.

For thousands of families around the United States and the globe, Sensory Processing Disorder is real and serious. It prevents children from turning sensory information (e.g., touch, taste, sight, smell, sound, movement) received by the brain into appropriate behavior. Evidence-based treatment is available, but most children with Sensory Processing Disorder never receive it because there are no guidelines for assessing it in the current DSM. Without treatment, many children with Sensory Processing Disorder develop academic, social, and emotional problems that endure into adulthood.

Inclusion in the DSM means a lot of things. It means pediatricians and others will have standardized criteria for making a correct diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder. It means treatment opportunities will be identified. It means children with Sensory Processing Disorder will be more likely to receive school accommodations and public services.

"It's tough for SPD families and kids," notes Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Executive Director of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation. "They have to fight every step of the way to get accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of their children, and most families never do. Recognition in the DSM would go a long way towards improving the quality of life for children and their families worldwide."

The Foundation, a public charity, has been working for over a decade to ensure that Sensory Processing Disorder becomes recognized in the DSM. They have conducted or mobilized research at MIT, Yale, Duke, and other universities. This research points to the need for diagnostic recognition of Sensory Processing Disorder.

Public comment on the draft DSM-5 is open through April 20, 2010. The American Psychiatric Association last updated the DSM 14 years ago.


Editorial Advisory: Detailed information about the initiative for DSM recognition and public comment can be found on the Foundation’s website at

Follow this link: for a full bio of Lucy Jane Miller, PhD,OTR
Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
Lincoln Bauer