Hello again, and welcome aboard the autism boat. Today, and in the following posts I am going to talk about my sensory issues as these make up a big part of my autism and struggles. First I have chosen the biggest one, sound.
Before I was diagnosed, before I really understood my autism I didn’t think I had any sensory issues. Boy was I wrong. I have discovered that I have hypersensitive hearing. This basically means I have a super power, super hearing. This comes with it’s ups and downs so let’s jump straight into the issues, shall we.
The biggest issue I have is becoming overwhelmed by all of the sound. For me it’s not the volume of the sound but rather how many different layers at once there are. For instance, if the TV is on and the radio is on, I have to run and put headphones on as quickly as possible to avoid having a melt-down. This is the same in a busy environment like a school, lots of pages turning, people tapping pens and lot’s of conversations all happening at the same time e.c.t. lead to all my days at school being exhausting, and this is before any real school work is done. I can also hear sounds others can’t, so when I start getting stressed and on the brink of a melt-down they are thinking why. It’s hard enough to explain how much sounds effect me but it’s even harder when they can’t hear those sounds.
Getting to sleep is also an issue, especially when you can hear every thing in your house. If my dad is sat in this room and all the doors are shut I can still hear the sound of his keyboard on this smart phone. This has lead to lot’s of sleepless nights.
So sound impacts my life greatly, even more then words could ever express so how do I get anything done? Well I have a few coping strategies to help me. The main one is putting headphones on and listening to loud music – this is one audio input and so much easier to process. I do this at home and at school when I’m studying. The other coping strategy is stimming (I covered what this is in a previous blog post). This combats negative stimulus with a positive one. This isn’t a long term solution but it can keep me focused enough to be in lessons or to enjoy a trip out.
So there you have it, the first of my sensory posts! Never underestimate the impact of sensory issues and autistics. Until next time, see ya!