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 hyper sensitive response, or an under sensitive response.  Sometimes they can have a hyper sensitive 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: 

Hyper sensitive responses

  • You/ your friend may dislike loud noises intensely, possibly causing fear or anxiety in returning to an area where there has been 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.