Sensory Processing in individuals with Autism
When we refer to sensory processing we are talking about different levels of sensitivity. Some individuals with Autism are hypersensitive (over sensitive) to some things and hyposensitive (under sensitive) to other things. This is what is known as a sensory processing disorder and any range of the senses can be affected.
Individuals who suffer particularly from hypersensitivity will often go to great lengths to avoid the things they find unpleasant. Classic examples are babies who do not enjoy being held. This can be profoundly distressing for the parents. They can go stiff as a coping mechanism. As they grow older the children may prefer to initiate hugs, as they prefer not to be taken by surprise. These children may prefer to use things like ear protectors to block out noise, gloves to reduce unpleasant touch sensations and avoiding certain fabrics.
(Photo credit: @chairulfajar)