I was asked often, why do I put such an emphasis on sensory issues with my son? Is it really an important issue with these kids or another money-making intervention.
My answer to those individuals was always and will be … yes this is a very important issue to discuss and combat. Kids and adults who are in the autistic spectrum are often struggling with processing sensory input. Inadequate sensory processing can lead to negative behavior, and it can certainly make the ASD individual’s life, and caretaker/parent’s life very difficult. That is why so important to understand what these kids might be experiencing, so we may eliminate, reduce, or even teach these children how to deal with certain sensory input.
Many people including neuro- typicals have some sort of sensory issues. Some people do not like loud noises, bright lights etc
The reason I decided to write about this matter is my personal experience in a recent past.
One of my son’s classmate’s mom had some medical appointments, and had to go to the doctor. She needed someone to pick up her son, and take him to school. This seem very reasonable, unless you know this child. Many times I had seen them struggling to get him in, or out of the car.
Also, I saw him being all over that car when they arrived to the parking lot. That was kind of scary. She was always so apologetic, and stressed out early in the morning. To make a long story short, no one wanted to give this little boy a ride. No family members, friends or other parents from school. I can not blame anyone not volunteering, or accepting this task. His behavior is definitely an accident risk, driving with a child who unbuckles himself, him getting out of his seat, climbing to the front , jumping while driving on the expressway. So many times they were driving in front of me, and I was very afraid for their safety. Well, I am sure some of you may have guessed, I ended up giving him a ride to school, and home. I was a bit worried first, but I figured it is only a 30 minute ride on the freeway what can go wrong, right?
Our travel was a smooth as it can be. When we arrived to school, he got out of the car no problem, even the teachers were surprised and jokingly asked me what I gave him. Going home was a piece of cake too. His mom and dad was shocked seeing him un-buckling after we stopped, and I opened the door for him. He was happy, and carefree running to his mom to give her a big hug. After that hug he started his usual screaming, pushing, rubbing, hitting, you name it he probably did it. That was the time when it downed on me he might be sensitive to her perfume. I always knew that she was around even if I didn’t see her b/c of the smell of her heavy perfume. She was in a state of shock what just happen, so I grabbed the opportunity to tell her politely maybe there is a problem with him processing some sensory input, like the heavy smell of perfume .I wasn’t sure if I made my point clear untill next morning when she drove him to school, and he was as calm as a little lamb.
So as you can all see sensory input disorder do occur, and cause problems, but they can be erased, reduced, or a child can be trained to deal with it.
Amin’s old pediatrician told me once…” sensory processing disorder is like buying an old house with frayed electric wires. If you turn on the TV, the light in the kitchen starts flickering, if you start your toaster oven, your microwave might stop, and so on. So, you need to get the electrician there to smooth out the edges of those frayed wires, so the connection will be perfect, and you can live in that house happily and enjoy it. For our sensory kids, we need to train them so they may be able to process the sensory input, so it will not interfere with their daily life, and they are able to function in a typical setting.”
Back to my initial question: Is the sensory processing issue important?… As you can see from this short story it is important, and to learn about it and understand it made a huge difference in many people’s life.
I will be writing about sensory processing disorder in a future, till that happens I would appreciate all of your input, and personal experiences in this issue.