People with SPD & ASD exhibit difficulties with high-level tasks involving the integration of different brain areas.
Specifically, both disorders result from transmission glitches in the long distance neural pathways that connect different brain areas. Excellent connections result in smooth perceptions and responses. Less than optimal connections result in clog ups of input and/or output.
In SPD these altered perceptions and responses are related to sensory information from the environment – internal and external.
The defining characteristics of ASD (autism) are altered perceptions and responses related to language, social affiliation and empathy.
- You can have sensory problems and not be autistic.
- You can be autistic and not have sensory problems (although the majority of autistics do).
So if you have SPD and not ASD, you can be painfully aware of the differences between you and neuro-typical people and have the language skills to raise hell about it.