Understanding the Challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Part 3

Sensory processing can also be challenging for people with ASD.  Individuals on the spectrum can experience a hypersensitive response or an under-sensitive response.  Sometimes they can have a hypersensitive response in one area and an under-sensitive response in another.   The expression of sensory processing is where we see the differences in each individual. 

Here’s what it might look like: 

Hypersensitive responses

  • You/ your friend may dislike loud noises intensely, possibly causing fear or anxiety in returning to an area where there has been a loud noise in the past. 
  • You/ your friend may react poorly to fluorescent lighting, seeking to turn it off, or avoiding areas with it.
  • You/ your friend may feel sick when someone with perfume walks by, or a certain food is cooked, again leading to avoidance of the person or area associated with the smell.
  • You/ your friend may have very specific tastes in food, gagging easily.
  • You/ your friend is very particular about the types of material clothes are made from, and reluctant to touch anything sticky.

Hypo-sensitive responses

  • You/ your friend may speak loudly, and create lots of noise in quiet environments.   
  • You/ your friend may enjoy watching spinning objects or flickering lights.
  • You/ your friend may sniff papers, pencils, or any number of objects for comfort.
  • You/ your friend may eat very strongly flavored foods.
  • You/ your friend may crave working with messy materials like paint and clay.

At Independent with Autism, we work people that have ASD/ Asperger’s Syndrome to evaluate environments and create a friendly one, reducing awkward and possibly dangerous situations.  Please email rebecca@independentwithautism.com or call 847-275-9413 for more information.

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