"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Autism in Our Home - Sensory Issues
Many people with Autism have sensory issues. Some may have a hard time with noise, others with sights, some with touch or the feel of objects, and even others with food textures. Colton is no different. Colton has issue with several things that pertain to his senses. *The first is sound. Colton does NOT like the sound of fireworks. This has actually intensified for him as he has gotten older. Even when we prepare him that they are coming and that they are going to be loud, he covers his ears, cries, and sometimes yells. This year, we will bring ear phones for him and he will sit close to me. There are other sounds that bother him. Sometimes basic sounds that don't usually bother him will set him off, such as his brothers singing or the sound of the windows being down in the car. I'm not sure what sets him off with sounds that 90% don't bother him and so it is hard for us to prepare him, or ourselves for these sounds. He doesn't normally react the way he does with fireworks, but he will repeatedly ask that the sound be stopped. Sometimes, just handing him a phone to play a game on will put him in enough of a "safe zone" to allow pretty much anything to go on around him. *We have not noticed any food textures that bother Colton, thankfully. He seems to do just fine with all food textures. *Feel. Colton does NOT wear jeans, or levi shorts. He is most comfortable in sweats and track pants/shorts. We have also tried cargo-type pants and shorts. He will wear them periodically, with our prompting, but he prefers the other materials. Colton also insists on hiking his pants and shorts up so far that the waistband is at his breastbone. Josh has patiently worked to correct this, since it could very well be causing harm to private parts. Colton is getting better at fixing this habit on his own, but frequently needs prompting to pull them down to his waist. He has repeatedly told us that he feels more comfortable with them up to his breastbone and, at time, will become very emotional when prompted to pull them down. *This doesn't have anything to do with sensory issues, but if we don't prompt Colton to shower and change his clothes, he simply won't do it. It isn't because he doesn't want to, but rather because he just NEVER thinks about it. Frequently, we have found that he goes to bed in pajamas, then goes to school in the same pajamas, and sleeps in them again the next night if we don't prompt him to change. *Feel again. Colton has always found his right ear to be a source of comfort. When tired, overwhelmed (and trying to deescalate by himself), or emotional, he will rub his right ear between his pointer and middle finger. When he is doing this, he is most definitely in a different zone and it is a time that I try my best to leave him alone and continue to try to find his "happy place." This is, what appears to me to be, his best effort at finding his base line all by himself. Often times it's a signal that he is tired and doesn't have much fight in him, so he is usually peaceful at this point. **Human Touch. Colton is overly affectionate with people, again a boundary issue. He will hug anyone, even strangers. We are working hard to remind him to ask if he can hug people before he does. Some people, like his Aunt Tiffany and Aunt Carrie, have given him MVP permission, where he knows he can hug them at any time. We still try to remind him to ask them so that he doesn't get out of the habit. He loves to hold hands with me, to be close to Josh all the time, to hug anyone and everyone, and to kiss me goodnight every night. This is a great quality, but a boundary/safety issue with an Autistic kiddo. We have to continue to be diligent in ensuring that he, and everyone, is safe.