So recently I, as well as my parents have noticed that whenever we change the channel to this specific channel, he runs behind someone and hides his head or goes into the kitchen and hides- or he’d take the remote and want you to change it. It’s funny because before when we used to change it to this specific channel, he never used to hide or anything. But now he does.
Yesterday couldn’t have been any better timing as yesterday, I managed to pick up ‘Ten things every child with Autism wishes you knew’ again and started and finished reading chapter two- ‘My sensory perceptions are disordered’.
(FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, PLEASE DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT- OR YOU CAN IF YOU WANTED TO)
2. My sensory perceptions are disordered.
Sensory integration may be the most difficult aspect of autism to understand, but it is arguably the most critical. This means that the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you but I am just trying to defend myself. Here is why a “simple” trip to the grocery store may be hell for me:
My hearing may be hyper-acute. Dozens of people are talking at once. The loudspeaker booms today’s special. Music whines from the sound system. Cash registers beep and cough, a coffee grinder is chugging. The meat cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can’t filter all the input and I’m in overload!
My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn’t quite fresh, the guy standing next to us hasn’t showered today, the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper, they’re mopping up pickles on aisle 3 with ammonia….I can’t sort it all out. I am dangerously nauseated.
Because I am visually oriented (see more on this below), this may be my first sense to become overstimulated. The fluorescent light is not only too bright, it buzzes and hums. The room seems to pulsate and it hurts my eyes. The pulsating light bounces off everything and distorts what I am seeing — the space seems to be constantly changing. There’s glare from windows, too many items for me to be able to focus (I may compensate with “tunnel vision”), moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion. All this affects my vestibular and proprioceptive senses, and now I can’t even tell where my body is in space.
*Small extract of the chapter which can be found in this website: http://www.ellennotbohm.com/article-archive/ten-things-every-child-with-autism-wishes-you-knew/
I found out that the channel or more importantly, the adverts featured on that channel (since he hides away from those) may be an overdose of visual images and sounds. Note: I’m saying sorry in advance for using this specific example but its the best way to explain it- its like having an overdose of someone’s fart clogging up your nose and you can’t stand it so you want it to go away so bad before it drives you crazy! I guess thats how its like for him. And perhaps this changes every now and then, I don’t know but it is something I’m going to look into but at least I can tell my parents that its too much for him. However this then means that he’ll need some form of sensory therapy which I’ll raise next time I see the paedetrician or when I visit his new school c: I swear, this book it like the Holy Book of ASD :’)- or something like that o.o
On another note, as much as I would love to post everyday, I can’t. I’m doing a lot of things and theres just not enough hours during the day but I will try and post at least once a week- THANKS GUYS! Also, I do appreciate each and every person liking my posts :’)