The Next Attention Deficit Disorder?

If you haven't heard of sensory processing disorder, or SPD, you're not alone. It's not in the medical books. So why are so many kids being treated for it?

Ray Ng for TIME

Correction Appended: December 4, 2007

With a teacher for a mom and a physician's assistant for a dad, Matthew North had two experts on the case from birth, but his problems baffled them both. "Everything was hard for Matthew," says Theresa North, of Highland Ranch, Colo. He didn't speak until he was 3. In school, he'd hide under a desk to escape noise and activity. He couldn't coordinate his limbs well enough to catch a big beach ball.

Matthew, now 10, was evaluated for autism and attention deficit hyper-activity disorder, but the labels didn't fit. "We filled...

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