Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sensory Integration Disorder

 Dear Friends,

On Friday February 18th, The Oprah Winfrey Show had an “exclusive” story titled “The 7-Year-Old Who Tried to Kill his Mother.” A frightening, yet true story of young Zach and his mother Laurie.  

Zach has a variety of mental health disorders. The first disorder mentioned by Oprah was “sensory integration disorder” as the initial diagnosis for Zach.  The majority of the show focused on the tough challenges of mental illness and the family’s journey.  The website, states that Zach is enrolled in a residential therapeutic school in New Hampshire that specializes in alternative approaches to helping these children.

Visit the website:

Neither Sensory Integration Disorder (also called Sensory Processing Disorder) by some people, but not in the Oprah show was not explained in depth, nor was Zach’s mental health diagnoses, leaving the impression that children with a diagnosis of SPD, may be inclined to rage attacks that could lead to attempts to kill others.  We have received a plethora of letters from parents and others who are frustrated and puzzled by the Oprah show.

However, we see this as a great opportunity to bring Sensory Processing Disorder / Sensory Integration Dysfunction to the attention of Oprah and her team.

Quote from the show:

“Sensory integration disorder was Zach’s first diagnosis and that has to do with how Zach perceived his world.  So he was incredibly sensitive to everything.  He would do things like throw himself on the ground, thrash his body, where a normal kid, it would hurt, and he would get pleasure.  He would laugh.  South bothered him.  Light, clothing, that sort of thing and everything was accentuated 10 – 15 times of what a normal person would experience.  That’s what sensory is.”

The SPD Foundation has posted a response online on their website and their Facebook cause page.  The Foundation is rallying a grassroots letter writing campaign as well. The goal is to get 10,000 letters to Oprah by next Friday, March 4.


To send your own letter to Oprah’s site, here is what you need to do:

1.     Register on Oprah’s web site so that you can leave a public comment:

2.     Base your story around a fact or facts (provided at SPD Foundation site: go to for facts you can include in your letter) and keep your response positive.  Our goal is to get 10,000 letters overflowing their virtual mail boxes.
3.     Send the Foundation a copy to so we can tally the number of letters going in. Options on

4.      Post your letter in the Comments Section on Zach’s story at Oprah’s website.
Go to:; Scroll down to the bottom of your browser window
Insert in Comments Section.

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