What's the power of a label? Protection of law.
Sensory Integration Dysfunction/Sensory Processing Disorder is a strange animal. If one says "Down Syndrome" or "Autism" or "Cerebral Palsy" or any number of labels tossed about special ed and medical facilities today, there is an implication of disability already implied- whether the condition is disabiling for the person or not. There is an automatic search for accommodation. The local school district may have to be sued, but they are legally obligated to provide service. These are recognized disability labels. SID/SPD is not. A child who cannot sit still is considered a problem, not a child in need of accommodation because of sensory issues. A child who needs help pulling up underwear is considered stupid or unfit for school, not a child with potential motor issues or sensory issues that may need accommodation. There is no "25% delay" to pinpoint and document. You can't take "covers ears in large, noisy rooms" to a committee and get your child into ECSE.
At the same time, no other school or daycare will take that child, either.
Our interview at the Montessori lasted 15 minutes, maybe 20. Everything I actually saw them ask him to do- letter puzzles, sorting small objects, etc., he did it. We were very frank about Andy's strengths, and just as frank about his weaknesses, and what we needed for him: a positive, supportive environment with somebody who could occasionally step in and remind him to pull his underwear over his bottom. You know... a preschool. For a three-year-old. They're all the rage this year, honest. It was probably telling when we left and my Mom asked Andy, "Would you like to go to school here?" he replied, "no, thank you." But the excuse for not accepting him when they called today was also telling: "We cannot accommodate him in our program at this time."
So many schools talk the big talk. They had a whole classroom section about "children of the world." There were smiling children in traditional costumes, like an Eskimo child wearing a fur-lined hood, a Chinese child in yellow silk, and African child in bright fabric and beads, watching the classroom from their poster dutifully. This is "diversity."
They have no idea what the word even means.