Many children with autism have sensory processing difficulties and may struggle with responding appropriately in challenging situations.
For example, when visual input is too over stimulating, the child may have an inability to maintain eye contact during a conversation or have trouble locating objects that are located on a cluttered shelf.
When auditory input is overloaded, the child may:
Cover their ears in loud situations such as a fire drill, or hum/sing to themselves, or complain of the noise levels in rooms
Hang on an adult, or lay between two surfaces
Avoid touching certain textures
Touch everything in sight as a way to re-regulate
When the taste and smell pathways are overloaded the child may:
Avoid certain foods, or eat extreme tasting foods
Avoid using the restroom at public places
Breath through their mouths rather than their noses
When the proprioceptive system is overloaded the child may:
Pull, chew or twist things
Frequently breaking toy
Unintentionally hurt peers
Stand too close to others or objects with no understanding of personal space
When the vestibular system is overloaded, the child may:
Exhibit thrill seeking behaviors
Have extreme motion sickness
Show difficulty with coordinated eye movement
Seek being upside down
Having ‘just right’ responses to sensory input takes guidance and controlled exposure.
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