OTSH 74: Which Is It: ADHD or SPD? Featuring Debbie Lund, MS, OTR/L



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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 74 of the OT School House Podcast.


"What is the difference between ADHD and Sensory Processing disorder?" Has a parent or a teacher ever asked you that question? This has always been a touch question for me to answer. I could always explain sensory processing well, but I hadn't learned much about the neurological processes behind ADHD.


To help you and I better understand the differences between ADHD and SPD, I am welcoming to the podcast, Debbie Lund, MS, OTR/L. Debbie is here to share with us her experiences of working with children who have SPD and/or ADHD and how our treatments may need to vary based on the child's needs.


Meet Debbie Lund


Debbie is the Owner of Two Fish Therapy, LLC. She has worked with a variety of children with various learning needs for over 20 years. Her occupational therapy experiences include working with children with diagnoses of Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities, dyslexia, visual perceptual disorders, dysgraphia, motor coordination disorders, autism, to name a few . Before completing her Master of Science in OT she worked in a variety of community settings including homes, schools, daycares, and after school programs. She has particular interest in designing new and more effective therapy and educational programs for children in schools. She works everyday to ensure that her company provides the best available; consultation to teachers, individualized learning plans for kids and schools, integration therapy with education in classroom and treatment. She aims to support and advocate for child-centered learning styles, especially for children with attention, sensory and coordination issues, with every family and child she meets. She also strives to build relationships with key professionals in the community in order to enhance potential, success and connections for families and their children.


Links to Show References:

Episode Transcript

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Amazing Narrator

Hello and welcome to the OT School House podcast, your source for school based occupational therapy, tips, interviews and professional development. Now to get the conversation started, here is your host, Jayson Davies. Class is officially in session.

Jayson Davies

Hey everyone, and welcome to Episode 74 of the OT school House podcast. My name is Jayson, thank you so much for joining us here today on the OT School House podcast. Really appreciate you being here. This is gonna be a fun one. We're talking with Deb Lund, who is the owner of two fish therapies down in Florida, if I remember right, and we're going to talk about the difference and similarities between ADHD and sensory processing disorder. So if you have been caught in the middle of a conversation, trying to explain the differences between ADHD and sensory processing, you are in the right place. This is the podcast for you. We're going to talk about the differences in the DSM, the DSM five, the manual that kind of outlines what a disorder is, and kind of what the definitions of it are. And yeah, we're going to talk a little bit about evaluating how to determine whether we need to go in the direction of treating ADHD or treating a sensory processing, and then even what that might look like the treatment as well as the recommendations that we might provide to parents and teachers. All right. So you do not want to miss this again, this is Deb Lund, and she is the owner of two fish therapy. You can learn more about that at twofishtherapy.com, and she has a bunch of resources that you'll hear throughout this episode that she has compiled for us that you can get at the show notes for this episode. All right, so enjoy the episode. This is Deb Lund. Deb, welcome to the OT schoolhouse podcast. How are you doing today?

Debbie Lund

Great. Thank you so much for having me.

Jayson Davies

Yeah, no problem excited to have this conversation. This is a question that comes up a lot. I'm sure you've heard it many times, obviously. Because we're, we're talking about today. And that's kind of the difference between ADHD, sensory processing, and how you kind of see those differences. So I'm excited to have this conversation with you.

Debbie Lund

Oh, thank you, me. Me, too. I'm really excited. I do hear that question a lot.

Jayson Davies

I bet.

Debbie Lund

I think a lot of you as well, teachers, and probably pediatricians.

Jayson Davies

Absolutely. And I love that, you know, we already have a question a little bit down a little bit, you know, in a few minutes, maybe 20 minutes or so I'm gonna actually ask you kind of that specific question is how do we explain? How do we explain this to parents who might be wondering this and don't have a medical background. So we'll get into that in a little bit. But first, I want to give you an opportunity actually to share a little bit about yourself in your OT career and how you got to where you are today. So tell us about that?

Debbie Lund

Well, I like from the time I was a kid, I always wanted to be an education. So I think originally I wanted to be a teacher or something. And then as I got older, I was just I think my parents really pressed upon me how important it is to get an education and have a good education. And going through my educational career, I saw so many intelligent people like really smart folks who struggled so much to access education inside the box that we have as education, right. So, you know, in a lot of cases, quite frankly, and I think a lot of people would agree with me who experienced this, and this is even neurotypical folks like education can actually be more of a catalyst, I mean, more of an obstacle than a catalyst to people's life success, right? In terms of if you have learning differences, or if you don't fit within the style of that education. And although So, so I always wanted to support access to learning. That's what I wanted to do. So I wanted to help people get through school, I wanted to help people do well in school, I wanted to help them be successful. I was going to be a teacher. And then I thought, well, maybe I'll be a psychology like a school based psychologist. They don't got it on my undergrad, double majored in sight, I found out that it was a lot of testing and a lot of mental health. And that was not what I was looking for. And then just through working, you know, with people with disabilities, like I worked in group homes, and I worked in schools, and I worked in the community, I did some independent living stuff with folks. I happened upon OT and I apply for I was like, This is perfect. Like, this is exactly what to do. I want to enable participation. I want to enable access in school systems like this is, you know, so that's how I got there. I applied and here I am, like running a school based therapy company is out there. This was speech paths and educational assistance and, you know, Yeah,

Debbie Lund

wow. Yeah, it really sounds like you found the right job.

Debbie Lund

This also you know what, I'm Canadian.Yeah. So I went to McMaster University in Ontario. I'm from the east coast of Canada. And I actually just after grad school, packed up and drove here.

Jayson Davies

Drove here being Where?

Debbie Lund

To Florida to Florida, where I live now. Yeah, and I own this practice. And I do all of this. So it's, it's been a real adventure. Wow. So from

Jayson Davies

Florida what a change?

Debbie Lund

Definitely, yeah.

Jayson Davies

Yeah. And a lot more ways than just one. I mean, more than just weather.