and Sensory Issues
Asperger syndrome and sensory issues are deeply intertwined. Individuals with this disorder have difficulty processing sensory
input and often require help in coping with sensory overload.
Sensory dysfunction can be distracting, very unpleasant, and can lead to significant behavior problems. Some of these behaviors are overt and others are less obvious. Asergers presents its own unique situation with sensory sensations.
In a nutshell, individuals with autism and related pervasive developmental disorders have difficulty knowing which sensations
to take in and which sensations to filter out. Either they are functioning with a lack of an awareness of their surroundings,
or they are overwhelmed with sensation.
I'd like to know more about hypo- and hyperactivity.
Hypoactive sensory systems are ones that tend to block too much out. There are ways to determine if a person in the autism spectrum has a hypoactive sensory system through observing his or her behavior. You might find these characteristics of an AS person with hypoactivity:
- lacking reaction to touch, movement and sounds
- exhibiting less attentive to sights
- seeking out activities that involve movement
- engaging in self-stimulatory behaviors that excite, such as hand-flapping, swinging, and spinning
- not becoming dizzy when twirling around
Signs of hyperactivity in sensory processing include:
- demonstrating reluctance to engage in activities that involve motion
- seeking deep pressure by hugging pillows and burrowing into couch cushions
- avoiding climbing or descending stairs
- wanting to be carried instead of walking independently
- Oversensitivity to touch, sights, movements, and sounds
As with most things in the realm of autism spectrum disorders, hyperactive and hypoactive sensory systems are not cut-and-dry. These experiences can change from experience to experience, day to day. No child is completely hypo or hyper when it comes to sensory systems.
What strategies can be employed to help ease sensory problems?
There are specific interventions that therapists and caretakers can use to help children with Asperger syndrome and sensory issues deal with the experience. These strategies begin with observing the child's behavior.
Some refer to self-stimulatory behavior as self regulatory behavior because these The actions serve a specific purpose. Ways to help are:
Engage the child in activities similar to his stims. Vary the behavior. Encourage interaction during sensory integration activities.Encourage the child to have face-to-face interaction with other people.
While sensory integration is a powerful tool for helping children deal with these issues, it's also a great tool for developing social skills. Asperger syndrome and sensory issues are so profoundly intertwoven that children can use their own means of dealing with these issues as learning tools.
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