Monday, April 11, 2016

Another installment of Monday's musings-Autism, Sensory issues and real life!

As many of us are aware, our loved ones with Autism or Aspergers syndrome often have  issues with sensory overload. It has an impact on different parts of their bodies, at different times, days, and senses. The filtering mechanism in their brains often works in a different way in assimilating the senses such as touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight. They may be extremely sensitive to some senses and find seemingly routine events fascinating - the patterns of light on a wall, or the rustling leaves in the wind. The person with autism may also be unresponsive to sensations that their parents find unpleasant, such as extreme heat, cold or pain. We must be more aware of how their senses are absorbing, processing and dealing with many of the body's systems and ways to desensitize and put coping mechanisms in place to help regulate the body. Sensory Integration involves various systems in our bodies:

• The vestibular system responds to movement and gravity
• The proprioceptive system receives feedback from joints and muscles and joints
• Our five senses - sight, hearing, touch, eyesight and smell.

 Some people with autism will be so severely affected by their sensory preferences that it interferes with their normal, everyday functioning. Sensory issues are usually defined as either hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) or hyposensitivity (under-responsiveness) to sensory stimuli.
I have become aware of a great new blog, that Emily C. has created to talk about sensory issues and give some tips & suggestions on how to be 'sensory smart' 

Please be sure to check out her blog. Emily has done a great job in discussing sensory issues, and ideas that may help your son or daughter at school, home and the importance of connecting with other families who are walking the same journey. Of course, I really want to highlight her great video interview with her brother Joey. Joey shares with us some real life perspective on living with sensory issues. Thank you Emily & Joey, for sharing your story, and the information it provides us all. Be sure to click on the link to Emily's blog to watch the video, it's a great resource. Well done.

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