Senses Series Part 1
Touch and Autism, Pleasure or pain
Welcome guys last week I gave you all an overview of my sense series which will be happening over the next 5 weeks. Today I want to talk about TOUCH!
They say human touch is what helps us to feel emotionally connected to each other, but for people with autism, The nerves which signal pleasure rather than pain are sometimes crossed and these nerves known as ” c-tactile afferents ” These crossed wires if you will are the reasons why certain textures touching the skin are uncomfortable to those on the spectrum, I know this personally because my feet are hypersensitive to touch, i can barely stand cotton socks on my feet, without my feet itching like mad. To explain it to your child when they wonder why they don’t like this touch I always think of Kuzco from the Emperor’s new Groove. “No Touchy” He exhibits feelings of not liking to be touched, sometimes I think his self absorption and his obsessions are exhibits of autism, but I have yet to ask Disney about this.
Thinking of my own personal life in regards to this topic i can come up with many examples of how touch affects me. i.e. I am not sure how many of you will relate to this, but my hair itches the heck out of me, whether its my scalp itching even when my hair is clean or whether it lands on my arm or anywhere on my body it is like striking a match and feeling the heat as it burns down. Thats how my body feels when a strand of hair hits my skin.
Touch is the first sense to mature, it is fully functional shortly after birth, but for those on the spectrum, it may have developed abnormally. I know there are a lot of different stimuli which people on the spectrum cannot stand, some cannot stand the tags on tops and some cannot stand certain textures touching their skin. Another and the final example from me on this topic is those bags you get in the supermarket, i hate the touch of those and also the sound of the produce you put into them, anyway thats another post.
If you or your child is autistic what stimuli do you not like the touch of.