“Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy” – Quote by C. JoyBell C., poet and writer.
Humans and all living beings have 5 basic physical senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. The sensing organs associated with each of these five senses are composed of sensory neurons. They transmit information to the brain which in turn processes the data and tells the body to react to each stimulus.
With children diagnosed with various forms of autism spectrum disorders, they have either heightened or reduced strong reactions to one or more of their five senses. These conditions are known as hypo-sensitivities or hyper-sensitivities. For example, a child may react to loud noises or another might be bothered with bright sunlight. Others find certain sounds, smells and tastes a bit too much to handle. A classic example of hypo-sensitivity is high tolerance to pain. Such children may injure themselves and not notice it until others point it out. We all have reactions as human beings to the 5 senses; the only difference here is that the reactions are stronger.
How does one deal with strong reactions to one or more of their five senses:
· Use toys designed for sensory stimulus such as fidgets
· Remove objects and furniture which may cause injuries. Declutter the house, make it safe for all members
· Introduce them to food and drinks with strong smells and textures
· Provide opportunitie
· Dimmed lighting inside the home calms children with forms of ASD as well as others.
· Incandescent bulbs with soft glows or those which emit yellow light are better
· Try removing all products with strong fragrances such as room fresheners, cleaning products and toiletries from the home.
· Don’t prepare food to which the child shows aversion due to various senses
· Earplugs or noise-canceling heads phones are great to calm children down
There is a wide range of therapies available to help children with ASD who have strong reactions to one or more of their five senses. Some of these therapies you could consider include occupational therapy where physical activities of daily life that incorporate sensory
inputs are factored. Speech therapy which includes sensitivity-reducing and sensory-stimulating activities is another good form of therapy. This helps in improving speech and other muscle-related movements. Another considered therapy is Cognitive behavioral therapy. It enables a gradual and slow-paced tolerance to strong sensory reactions. Find a therapy suited to your child’s needs today.
With the above mentioned tips and therapies, we can reduce or even remove the impact of these overwhelming senses which bother children. This will make a difference in their behavior and learning. All people have strong reactions to one or more of their five senses some time or the other in their lives, children with Autism just need help to deal with them