#Autism and the effects of Sensory and Touch Overloads

Originally Posted Friday, October 18, 2013


The picture above was taken from the https://www.facebook.com/AutismAwarenessPage

Examples of the effects of #Autism

This picture above, is one that I created myself in Powerpoint.
Now that you’ve seen the relevant pictures, let me go into how we as parents, advocates, professionals need to remain open-minded with our approaches, suggestions, solutions and/or consequences.
Jr’s sensory and touch overloads are doing “okay!” Okay means that he’s not having a tantrum when he becomes overloaded. He actually has learned how to detox himself through self soothing behaviors or making those around him aware.
I am noticing however that Jr’s school seems to lack the necessary knowledge and skills to accommodate him when he’s reached his capacity; consistently and efficiently.
As his mother and advocate, I’ve found myself explaining to “almost everyone” that just because Jr can “efficiently verbalize” things he may want or need “at times;” doesn’t mean he can do it in the times “we need or want him to.”
*Remember: Individuals diagnosed with #Autism (Developmental Delay) may often find it difficult to express their “emotions.”
It’s easy for them to discuss their “fixations = obsessions, compulsions” like superhero characters, sounds from movies, repetitiously counting or organizing things and more.
I often find that Jr will try to avoid you when he’s reaching his capacity. He also tries to make you believe he’s okay, when he clearly isn’t. Other times, even I don’t notice for quite some time that he’s reached his capacity. Once I do or he’s made me aware, then I respond accordingly.
What I’m offering you to take away is “don’t be afraid to question the teachers/professionals in regards to their plan of action when an overload episode occurs.”
 Please let the schools, doctors, etc. that your child encounters; know in advance that because your child is diagnosed with #Autism they may display sensory or touch overload behavioral characteristics.
 Please learn the “tell tell signs” that your child “may” give off. Once you’ve learned to properly identify and distinguish them from the general anxious behaviors they display; you must provide that information to those working with your child.
Be mindful “at all times” especially when you’re upset with the individual diagnosed with #Autism, child or adult.
Be mindful of:  your voice’s pitch and tone, the bass and octaves in music, the brightness of lights everywhere you go, the duration of events, the smells of perfumes colognes and food.
You may have to “use your inside voice.” You may have to play classical music when their in your car or office. You may have to avoid wearing perfume or cologne when interacting with them, especially one on one. You might have to hold their hands if fire engines roar past. You may have to buy them earplugs to wear when riding the train or bus. You may have to buy them “special glasses” specifically for individuals with Sensory issues, especially in cases where the brightness of light is an extreme distraction and irritation and sunglasses are failing miserably. (like my current situation with Jr) he needs the special glasses. ~sigh~
Keep in mind that the individual diagnosed with #Autism; ALWAYS needs a period of  dowtntime = “detox” where they can cleanse their minds and body, of all the things they’ve consumed.
Often times I’ll keep Jr home from school in his room with the lights off (sometimes the shade is raised to allow natural sun light to come in, but even that’s too bright for him at times), no tv, no computer, no tablet the entire day. Other times I bathe him by scented candle light or not; after he’s arrived home from school to help relax him.
 I’ve also put Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy (Stress Relief) products, specifically the Lavender Chamomile, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Black Currant Vanilla and Jasmine Vanilla in his bath water, as lotion, hand soap, or pillow mist to relax him. You can find these products, here: http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=4304909&cm_sp=FO-_-Body+%26+Bath-_-Aromatherapy&cp=12586965.12587148
I do this to “suppress his anxiety.” Anxiety is what constantly has him on the go go go! Once his anxiety is suppressed, his racing mind slows down, and subsequently so does his body and he can rest.
I have had to ex-communicate myself from all people, places and things that cause his overloads. I can’t protect him everything or everyone that will cause an overload. Knowing that I can’t protect him, it encourages me to teach Jr to protect and encourage himself.
I teach him that too much of anything isn’t good. I teach him that he has to use his words “as best he can” all the time and with everyone. I say to him “A mis-communication is better than no communication!”
The times that Jr has shown initiative with me personally or with his school professionally let’s me know that he’s aware of the effects and he wants people to be able to help him. He knows that he will have to wear glasses and I’m holding off as long as I can, but after yesterday’s findings I’ve concluded that he’ll have to have them by the end of the year, otherwise it’ll immediately follow the New Year.
I pray that all of you take from this the encouragement to “Stand up and speak out” for the individuals diagnosed with #Autism sake, especially the children!
I wish you all the best! Remember we can do this with a lot of love, a little persistence, and a pinch of innovation (openmindedness).