Sensory Processing Disorder Not Slated for Inclusion in the DSM-5 – ACT NOW

Although children with autism typically have sensory processing issues, not all children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) are on the autism spectrum. Much work has been done to have SPD included as a separate condition in the upcoming DSM revision, the DSM-5 but as it stands right now, SPD will not be included. The following email was sent to me and I’m passing it on to all of you. We need to take action to have SPD included in the DSM-5.

As someone who understands SPD and the impact it has on families worldwide, we wanted to be sure you heard this important news about the DSM-5 campaign.

Children’s futures are at stake. Use your voice to turn a “NO” from the DSM-5 Scientific Review Committee into a YES for inclusion of Sensory Processing Disorder in the DSM-5. One more committee left to review the proposal to include SPD!

ACT NOW! The final deadline for public comments to show the American Psychiatric Association (APA) widespread, informed support for the inclusion of SPD in the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) is June 15, 2012.

The SPD Foundation just learned that a key DSM-5 committee, the Scientific Review Committee said “NO” to having SPD recognized as a “Novel Diagnosis in Need of Further Research.” We must let the final committee reviewing the application (called the Clinical and Public Health Committee) know that SPD does exist, and that children and adults are suffering. We must all deliver one message:

There is clear evidence that SPD is a diagnosis and should be included as a novel diagnosis category of the DSM-5 to encourage additional research.

It’s simple. Submit a comment on the APA website, even if you have done so in the past. Register or login at and follow the specific instructions as explained here.

Visit our DSM Comment Page for instructions to post comments on the website. You will find sample language (targeted to parents, OTs, physicians, etc.). Provide concrete information and/or observations based on your own personal or clinical experience.

Spread the word! Forward this message or post a call to action on your social media sites so your family, colleagues, physicians (especially important!), teachers, clients, friends – will send a supportive comment.

Post the information here on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking pages; on Twitter use #SPDNOW.”

This is our last chance to have SPD included in the DSM until the next revision in 2025!

About Melissa

Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

© Melissa Hincha-Ownby and The Autism Education Site, 2008-2014.