The SPD Foundation


Dr. Lucy Miller, an Occupational Therapist and author of ‘Sensational Kids’ is the founder of the foundation. Dr. Miller heads up the most advanced and up to date research on Sensory Processing Disorder.

Learn More about the SPD Foundation in USA.

Their Mission:

The mission of the SPD Foundation is to enhance the quality of life for children with SPD and their families by –

  • conducting rigorous RESEARCH into the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of SPD
  • providing EDUCATION for those with SPD and for families, health care providers, policy makers, and the public
  • conducting ADVOCACY for recognition of SPD


The SPD Foundation grew out of work begun in 1977 with funding from the U.S. Public Health Service division of Maternal and Child Health (MCH). With this grant from MCH, SPDF’s founder, Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, developed and nationally standardized the Miller Assessment for Preschoolers (MAP) to assess preschool children with developmental disorders including Sensory Processing Disorder. The success of the MAP led to a series of additional studies and service projects to improve the understanding of SPD and the effectiveness of intervention for the disorder. In 1979, the Foundation, originally known as the KID Foundation, received formal IRS designation as a non-profit charitable organization (501(c)3) with a mission of promoting research, education, and advocacy related to developmental disorders, particularly SPD.

In 1995, the Foundation attracted the attention of the Wallace Research Foundation, which funded the development of a psychophysiology research laboratory to study SPD. With that, the Foundation turned its focus exclusively to SPD, then called “sensory integration dysfunction.” By 1999, the SPD Foundation and Dr. Miller were recognized as leaders in SPD research, treatment, and evaluation. To broaden the research base and expand research-based treatment options for sensational children and families, Dr. Miller convened the SPD Scientific Work Group, a council of internally recognized scientists with expertise in physiological, neurological, behavioral, and educational aspects of SPD. Since 2004, this interdisciplinary group has been conducting research in multiple disciplines into the etiology, neuropathology, signs and symptoms, treatment effectiveness, and developmental trajectories of SPD.

From 1994-2005, the Foundation’s research laboratory was based at the University of Colorado Medical School, where Dr. Miller was a professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine. She was awarded two federal grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). One of them was an NIH Career Award to conduct a randomized controlled study of the effectiveness of occupational therapy to treat SPD. This study, the first of its kind, was conducted in collaboration with The Children’s Hospital in Denver. The second award was an NIH planning grant to establish a group of advanced occupational therapists to develop a multi-site treatment effectiveness study. This group is known as the Sensory Integration Research Collaborative.

To avoid potential conflicts of interest with The Children’s Hospital, the SPD Foundation was incorporated in 2005 to conduct ongoing psychophysiological and applied research. At the same time, Dr. Miller founded the STAR (Sensory Therapies And Research) Center to provide direct intervention services to children and adults with SPD. STAR Center and the SPD Foundation are co-located in metropolitan Denver.

To enlarge the population of advanced clinicians trained to administer SPD identification tools and to use the latest research-based methods of treating individuals diagnosed with SPD, the SPD Foundation in 2007 initiated an Advanced Mentorship Program. Advanced clinicians receive individualized instruction in assessment, treatment, and research and receive the SPDF Advanced Mentorship Certification upon completion.


Brings hope and help to Children and Families.


  • SPONSOR two international educational symposiums each year to spread the word about the latest breakthroughs in SPD research and treatment
  • MENTOR clinicians from around the world in innovative SPD assessment and intervention
  • TEACH families and professionals about SPD through an eLearning program of online classes taught by experts in the field
  • RESEARCH the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of SPD and mobilize research groups nationwide to expand knowledge about SPD with scientific study
  • PUBLISH groundbreaking SPD research in medical and other journals
  • SPONSOR the most comprehensive SPD site on the worldwide web
  • ADVOCATE for recognition of SPD as a separate and valid disorder in diagnostic manuals, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
  • CHAMPION intervention, accommodation, and accurate information about SPD in schools, health care practices, homes, and wherever people live, play, work, or seek services
  • PARTNER with the prestigious STAR Center in Denver to promote research-based treatment and education for “sensational kids” and families.

The SPD Foundation … expanding knowledge, fostering awareness and promoting recognition of Sensory Processing Disorder