Sensory problems in individuals with autism spectrum disorder

Sensory Problems In Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sensory problems in individuals with autism spectrum disorder are among the most common problems. It is also included in the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder. So, Each individual diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder is unique as sensory issues involve the individual’s personal sensitivity.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder may have some sensory problems with:

  • Some scenes
  • Votes
  • Smells
  • Tastes
  • Touch
  • Balance
  • Awareness and awareness of body position and movement
  • Awareness of internal body signals and internal sensations (esthesia)

Individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder can experience hypersensitivity (over-responsiveness) and hypersensitivity (under-responsiveness) for a wide range of stimuli, Most individuals with autism spectrum disorder have both.

Many individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder suffer from hypersensitivity For high beams such as, Sounds, smells, textures and tastes.

Sensitivity can be a type of hyper-response , which is avoiding stimuli such as: Avoid physical touch, Or cover the ears to avoid loud noises or sounds that are unfamiliar to him. Or avoid certain types of clothing.

Hyporesponsiveness is difficulty recognizing internal sensations such as hunger, illness, or pain. Or being attracted to loud noises, bright lights, and some colors, Therefore, individuals diagnosed with ASD may engage in seeking more sensory input from the environment such as: Making loud noises, touching people or objects, or rocking back and forth.

How do individuals with autism spectrum disorder feel when sensory problems occur?

Sensory problems in individuals with autism spectrum disorder can lead to some challenges and difficulties in the individual’s daily life and in different environments such as school and work.

Many individuals diagnosed with ASD use sensory stimulation to balance sensory issues. Movements or sounds can help individuals diagnosed with ASD stay calm, relieve stress, or block out uncomfortable sensory input.

Constant movement may be inappropriate or annoying in some settings (such as the workplace), so people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder may feel extremely tolerant, and then self-regulation may be affected and become more difficult, leading to fatigue or sensory exhaustion due to excessive tolerance.

Overload can occur due to the accumulation of some events on an individual at one time. like, Unexpected loud noises, Or it may accumulate over time due to the effort the individual with autism spectrum disorder puts forth in dealing with sensory problems in daily life.

Excess tolerance can also cause difficulty communicating with others, severe anxiety, and escaping from situations. So, The brain may work to put all things into sensory processing and turn off other functions such as, Speech, decision making and information processing.

How sensory problems appear in individuals with autism spectrum disorder

Many individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder display certain behaviors when they experience sensory problems. So, Sensory problems in individuals with autism spectrum disorder can take the form of:

  • Increased movement such as, Jump or spin.
  • increased hand flapping, Or making some repetitive sounds or swaying back and forth.
  • Speaking quickly, loudly, or not speaking.
  • Cover the ears or eyes.
  • Difficulty recognizing internal sensations such as hunger, pain, or the need to use the bathroom.
  • Refusing or insisting on certain foods or clothes.
  • Excessive chewing of non-food items and frequent touching or playing with others violently.
  • Difficulty communicating or responding.
  • Hiding feelings and the need to escape from situations.

How to deal with sensory problems in individuals with autism spectrum disorder:

Understanding and coping with sensory problems depends largely on the environmental facilitation of using specific tools, strategies, and routines; Which may contribute to increasing opportunities for learning, social communication, and participation in society.

Some examples of measures to relieve sensory problems

  • Use some light covers, sunglasses, or a hat when the individual is under bright lights.
  • Wear earplugs or headphones in loud environments.
  • Working in spaces with closed doors or high walls.
  • Avoid products with a strong smell.
  • Choose foods that are free of texture, temperature, or spices so as not to become alienated or alienated from them.
  • Wear soft and comfortable clothes.
  • Adjust the daily schedule to avoid overcrowding with daily tasks.

Some examples of measures to relieve anaphylaxis

  • Visual support when an individual finds it difficult to process verbal information.
  • Use some games that reduce hypersensitivity.
  • Arrange furniture to provide open, safe spaces.
  • The individual should be given frequent breaks from movement throughout the day.
  • Eat foods with strong flavors or mixed textures.
  • Provide heavy blankets or clothing that provides pressure.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder have the right to request accommodations at work and school. Therefore, parents should talk about and implement sensory accommodations at school with the IEP team.

What are the resources that can help individuals with autism spectrum disorder overcome sensory problems?

1- Occupational therapy can help individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder learn to better process sensory input in the daily environment.

2- Nutritional therapy can help in treating the avoidance and aversion to tastes in food and the texture of food. Nutritional therapy can also help in reducing excessive sensitivity in chewing and swallowing.

3- Speech therapy can help reduce sensory problems and sensory stimulation to improve speech, swallowing, and muscle movements.

4- Cognitive behavioral therapy can help manage anxiety and gradually reduce sensory problems.

Reference:

Sensory Issues | Autism Speaks

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