Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Autism Discussion Page on Sensory Needs

Many individuals with special needs deal with sensitive sensory systems, especially those on the autism spectrum. Each person deals with sensory needs in a different way, and we must be understanding when approaching and working with an individual. Things that we may say or do  may unintentionally result in a negative response. The Autism Discussion Page has been sharing some great thoughts recently on sensory needs that are worth reading.




The Autism Discussion Page can be found on Facebook. The writer has written three different posts on sensory needs recently. I will share the first part of each one here, along with a link to where you will find the complete post. Please come back here and leave a comment about something that you found most interesting or most helpful.

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Sensory Patterns!

Since many people on the spectrum have very sensitive sensory systems, they often have vivid attraction to sensory patterns. These patterns can be visual patterns (visual movement patterns-waves, ripples in water, leaves waving in the wind or gently falling from the trees, hand waving in front of eyes, etc.), auditory (sound patterns, music rhythms, voice patterns, etc.), tactile (feel of sand or water flowing through their fingers, pulsating deep pressure massage, etc.) or kinesthetic (repetitive body part movement-hand flapping, rocking, head rolling, etc.). 


Continue reading by clicking here.


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To Touch Their “Hearts”, Love with Your “Senses!”

Whereas we live in a world of language, children with autism live in a world of senses. They think, feel, and experience through their sensory preferences. They live intense sensory experiences, where they explore, process, and categorize their world based on vivid visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory images. They encode these sensory memories, and use them to build their sense of safety and security, connect with others, and organize their experiences. 


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Match your interactions to the child’s sensory preferences!

Once you determine your child’s sensory profile (what they are attracted to, what they avoid, what calms them, and what overwhelms them), then you want to match your style of interaction to the sensory comfort zone of the child. What interaction style does your child respond the best to? What does he feel the safest with? What will best facilitate “engagement”? Often their sensory preferences will dictate how interaction should be given. Do they respond best to an upbeat animated style, or a slow and calm style? If they are sensory defensive they often get overwhelmed by excited, loud, animated people, and respond best to slow, calm, and quiet interaction. If they are sensory seekers, they tend to like more upbeat, quick paced, animated interaction, which alerts them.  


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We are looking forward to you returning to leave a comment here with the parts that you found most interesting or most helpful.

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Heather S. has a sensory issue with touching shaving cream.  Playing with shaving cream is a fun activity for children to use, but you will not find it in Heather's classroom.

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