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The Nordic PhD

Surviving and Succeeding

Edited By Christopher McMaster, Caterina Murphy and Jakob Rosenkrantz de Lasson

The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding is an edited book written for prospective and current doctoral students by a mix of doctoral students and those who have recently completed their doctorates. The premise is simple: if you could go back in time and talk with yourself when you began your studies, what advice would you give? Isn’t hindsight a bonus? If only I knew then what I know now!

The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding follows editions focused on study in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., U.S., and South Africa. What sets The Nordic PhD: Surviving and Succeeding apart from many others on the market is its down-to-earth and practical approach. Furthermore, its originality also lies in the fact that it is grounded in the context of doctoral studies in the Nordic countries.

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Chapter Eleven: Studying with Sensory Processing Disorder: Reframing Disabilities as Strengths (Laurie Prange)


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Studying with Sensory Processing Disorder

Reframing Disabilities as Strengths



Every day most people use five senses to navigate the world: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. These influence everything we do and learn. However, in truth, we have eight senses: the vestibular, which is the sense of your head moving in space; proprioceptive, which is the sensation of your muscles and joints in your body moving; and interoception, which is an awareness of your internal organs (Kranowitz, 2005). Most people can filter out all the sensations that continually bombard them. However, many cannot and they have what is referred to as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). I have SPD, which means that I struggle to appropriately balance out sensory data from these eight senses. Sometimes I am oversensitive, and at other times I am under-sensitive. My SPD has given me a specific set of needs.

In contemplating further study, I needed to consider a series of questions to determine my fit for doctoral studies. This chapter encourages anyone considering doctoral studies to reflect on these same issues and find an answer that works for you. Applying coping strategies, tailored to my needs, has been the key to my success.

Many people have sensory challenges and the strategies offered in this chapter are not limited to someone with SPD. For example, many people have issues with scents, perhaps...

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