Hi Guys and Girlies. Its Me JustOneAutisticGirl or @JustoneAutistic as some of you know me from the exciting world of Twitter and G+ Seriously why aren’t more of you on G+?
I will be here over the next 5 weeks discussing the five senses and autism, going into detail about how each sense is affected by autism. I cannot wait for you all to read it and over the next 5 weeks if you have any questions or comments regarding this series or you think your story would be a great addition DM me on Twitter or use the Hashtag #JOAGSENSESERIES So Lets Get To it without further ado. I am going to begin with explaining how our senses work before explaining how external forces can set our senses on edge.
How do our senses work?
Our senses are all controlled by our brains and our brains are essentially computers which take in millions upon millions of bytes of data everyday. Every motion we make our brain processes, each key i press on my laptop is set by processes in my brain. I am not sitting here unconsciously typing my brain is thinking of each word and how it connects to the next.
So what are your senses like if you are autistic?
People on the spectrum find it so much harder to process these bytes of information as the old adage goes We are Macs in a Microsoft world. When we cannot process this information we become stressed, sometimes feel pain and become more anxious until we lash out in a fit of energy. Sometimes we take it out on ourselves. Let me explain this better I know some of you may be confused by my fit of energy analogy. Imagine your brain is a sheet of paper. clean and crisp. Usually when your brain is functioning the page stays crisp. but for us Autistics’ when we cannot process a function. the page gets crumpled and when it is scrunched into the tightest ball it can it begins to unravel under its own pressure. Thats what happens to us our cool exterior unravels and we let the mask slip and we let our emotions rule our head. For kids its like Anger in the film inside out quick impulses which sometimes get us in trouble because we do things we are not supposed to. I am bad at explaining this but i finally think i have the analogy. A rubber band. each time we cannot process something it gets stretched until we reach the limit of its stretch and it is released with force. Sometimes hurting us, sometimes others depending on how it was aimed. Oh please someone if you know a better way of explaining it write it in the comments. PLEASE!
Senses can be heightened to the point of pain for some people for autism. I know for me my sense of touch and feel is super heightened, if a single strand of hair were to land on my arm or anywhere on me really I would break out in this intense itch and burning pain. It would last for at least half an hour if i am lucky but I normally never am.
I have an extreme sensitivity to noise. My dad tells my brother’s cat off when she acts out in attention seeking behavior. He tends to discipline her by one quick shout to stop her, but more often than not he ends up scaring me stiff, which sends me into a bit of shock for a few moments.
I was born with bad eyesight so I have never realised anything to do with my eyes but I have friends who are light sensitive like many autistics can be.
I lost my sense of smell when I was young so smells don’t affect me, but it can affect my taste, Bland foods or simple flavors just taste like cardboard to me. Texture of food have to be tender and moist, if meat is dry and too chewy (Unless its Jerky that’s my only exception) then I cannot handle the texture of the food in my mouth.
I’ll explain more about how I and other Autistics are affected by our Senses in this series. Next Week on the Sense Series. Its All About Touch and Feel