The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation’s Scientific Work Group Convenes at Annual 3S Symposium to Strategize Future Research

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This is the only organized group of renowned research scientists in the world to delve into Sensory Processing Disorder.

Members of the SWG have generated a lot of excitement and recognition for their profound research results. There is so much more to do and technology has now given us a new frontier for monumental conclusions.

The Scientific Work Group (SWG), a group of renowned research scientists representing multiple disciplines, met last month to review significant and recent research findings that relate to explanations of the underlying mechanisms of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). A key outcome of the meeting was defining the additional studies needed as next steps to furthering understanding of SPD and solicits to scientists to conduct the work.

Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurological disorder that disrupts the way an individual processes and responds to sensations. SPD affects daily activities and relationships, impairing quality of life and includes the sensory challenges associated with attention deficit disorders (ADD and ADHD), autistic spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, learning disorders, and other developmental issues.

This year the SWG met in conjunction with the SPD Foundation’s 17th International 3S (Strategies, Science & Success) Symposium held in Tempe, Arizona. The SWG was founded in 2002 by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, (who also founded the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and STAR Center) and funded by the Wallace Research Foundation. The SWG has produced dozens of articles and has researched the prevalence of SPD, the validity of the diagnosis, and the underlying neurological foundations. Members of the SWG play a major role in executing groundbreaking research into the causes and treatment for an often-misdiagnosed disorder. It is the only organized group in the world to focus on SPD and serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about it.

The focus of the meeting was twofold -- a review of significant/recent findings and plans for moving forward. Each researcher provided updates on research in SPD at their institution or organization that included sensory gating, multisensory integration of SPD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, and SPD family impairment. Important future goals include obtaining new funding, and submission of a multisite study. Many grant topics were proposed that require further discussion. The group also agreed to have all members of the workgroup write a summary of their research to date for lay people as well as for the scientific community.

“Members of the SWG have generated a lot of excitement and recognition for their profound research results,” said Tim Hoyman, President of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation. “There is so much more to do and technology has now given us a new frontier for monumental conclusions.”

There were 13 researchers in attendance, and included Dr. Lucy Jane Miller; Dr. Barry Stein, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Dr. Margaret Bauman, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Alice Carter, University of Massachusetts Boston; Dr. Sophie Molholm, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Dr. Matthew Goodwin, Northeastern University; Dr. Patricia Davies, Colorado State University; Dr. William Gavin, Colorado State University; Dr. Elysa Marco, University of California San Francisco; Dr. Ed Levin, Duke University Medical Center; Dr. Sarah Schoen, Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation; Dr. Teresa Tavassoli, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Dr. Carol Van Hulle, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr. Shelly Lane, Virginia Commonwealth University. Links to published articles by the SWG members can be found on the SPD Foundation website.

About Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation
The Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation, a Colorado 501(c)(3), is the world leader in research, education, and awareness for Sensory Processing Disorder, a neurological condition that disrupts the daily lives of more than 4 million Americans. The SPD Foundation offers educational programs, conducts SPD research, and provides resources for parents worldwide. Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, widely recognized as a leader in SPD research worldwide, founded the SPD Foundation in 1979. The SPD Foundation provides hope and help to individuals and families living with SPD. For more information, visit or call 303-794-1182.

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