September 10, 2012

Autism Spectrum Disorder And Sensory Integration


by DR. JESSICA GUIRE | Autism United

A neurotypical (an individual not on the autism spectrum) person hears, sees, smells, and feels. A person with autism also hears, sees, smells, and feels. However, many individuals on the autism spectrum have trouble hearing, seeing, smelling and feeling independently of the other senses because of their inability to discriminate between the senses. Imagine being cold, listening to loud sounds, seeing bright flashing lights, and smelling a pungent odor…all at the same time. How would you know you are cold or that the lights are too bright or the smell is stinging your nose? A individual with autism often deals with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Most children (90%) with Autism Spectrum Disorders have some sensory issue (Tomchek and Dunn, 2007). According to the SPD Foundation, “Sensory processing (sometimes called “sensory integration” or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are biting into a hamburger, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, your successful completion of the activity requires processing sensation or sensory integration.”

There is often a clear misunderstanding about what Sensory Processing Disorder/Sensory Integration Disorder is and this constitutes a great opportunity for the autism community to highlight this disorder. READ MORE >>

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