As an aspiring physical therapist I have found myself being drawn to working with individuals who have not only physical disabilities but cognitive ones as well. During my time observing and aiding a special education PT in a school setting I began to notice something very different about children with Autism, their sensory sensitivity. While reading See What I’m Saying, I couldn’t help but think about how much more input those with Autism are receiving.
I had never known that I myself, am constantly subconsciously smelling, hearing and seeing much more than I know. The difference between a person with Autism and one without is that an individual with Autism is in tune to their unconscious senses. This means that they can smell that subliminal lavender mentioned in Chapter 4 and hear background nose at all times, both often agitating them. Having this sensitivity causes much stress in children’s lives. I have noticed children constantly covering there ears, eyes and noses to try and tone down their senses. Since it is hard to control the outer world much success in toning down these sensory overrides has come from introducing new sensory focuses for the children. For example when a child must be taken into a new room filled with children the transition was made easiest when a recording of familiar nursery rhymes was played, as well as bringing the visual attention to a patterned cloth instead of the filled room. By introducing familiar less complex noises and visuals the child was able to more comfortably enter a new room due to the fact they were eased into the situation allowing their senses to acclimate to the new environment.