Ann Memmott’s piece on “Useful New Autism Info for Care Settings” lists• Progress in human understanding has become increasingly complex and overwhelming.• Checklists help prevent serious but easily avoidable mistakes.• Checklists should be as short as possible, include all essential steps… More four great resources on accommodating autism in careThe activities that constitute care are crucial for human life. We defined care in this way: Care is “a species activity that includes everything that we do to maintain, continue,… More settings, including two of our favorites: “It’s Not Rocket Science” and “Experience of Trauma and PTSD Symptoms in Autistic Adults”.
This is a list of useful research papers and Commissioned documents that have changed how we think about autisticAutistic ways of being are human neurological variants that can not be understood without the social model of disability.If you are wondering whether you are Autistic, spend time amongst Autistic people, online and offline. If… More people, and how we respond to their distress and their brain events.
Source: Ann’s Autism Blog: Useful New Autism Info for Care Settings
These resources are much about sensory load, as they should be.
“Small changes that can easily be made to accommodate autism really do add up and can transform a young person’s experience of being in hospital. It really can make all the difference.”
“Right from the start, from the time someone came up with the word ‘autism,’ the condition has been judged from the outside, by its appearances, and not from the inside according to how it is experienced.”
Donna Williams, (1996:14)
This report introduces autism viewed as a sensory processing difference. It outlines some of the different sensory challenges commonly caused by physical environments and offers adjustments that would better meet sensory need in inpatient services.
We have five external senses and three internal senses. All must be processed at the same time and therefore add to the ‘sensory load’.
Understanding the sensing and perceptual world of autistic people is central to understanding autism.
Autism is viewed as a sensory processing difference. Information from all of the senses can become overwhelming and can take more time to process. This can cause meltdownMeltdowns are alarm systems to protect our brains.Without meltdowns, we autistics would have nothing to protect our neurology from the very real damage that it can accumulate.I don’t melt down… More or shutdown.
Source: “It’s Not Rocket Science” – NDTi
One of the most important findings is that most autistic people have significant sensory differencesOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals… More, compared to most non-autistic people. Autistic brains take in vast amounts of information from the world, and many have considerable strengths, including the ability to detect changes that others miss, great dedication and honesty, and a deep sense of social justice. But, because so many have been placed in a world where they are overwhelmed by pattern, colour, sound, smell, texture and taste, those strengths have not had a chance to be shown. Instead, they are plunged into perpetual sensory crisis, leading to either a display of extreme behaviour – a meltdown, or to an extreme state of physical and communication withdrawal – a shutdown. If we add to this the misunderstandings from social communication with one another, it becomes easier to see how opportunities to improve autistic lives have been missed.
If we are serious about enabling thriving in autistic lives, we must be serious about the sensory needs of autistic people, in every setting. The benefits of this extend well beyond the autistic communitiesWhat I have always been hoping to accomplish is the creation of community.Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-First-Person-Stories-Twenty-First-ebook/dp/B082ZQBL98/ https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-Adapted-Young-Adults-ebook/dp/B08VFT4R9T/… More; what helps autistic people will often help everyone else as well.
Finally, the involvement of autistic people in reviewing and changing the sensory environment will support the identification of things that are not visible or audible to their neurotypicalThe existence of the word neurotypical makes it possible to have conversations about topics like neurotypical privilege. Neurotypical is a word that allows us to talk about members of the… More counterparts. We strongly encourage this wherever possible.
Source: Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic people in housing | Local Government Association
I have written elsewhere about what I refer to as ‘the golden equation’ – which is:
Autism + environment = outcome
What this means in an anxiety context is that it is the combination of the child and the environment that causes the outcome (anxiety), not ‘just’ being autistic in and of itself. This is both horribly depressing but also a positive. It’s horribly depressing because it demonstrates just how wrong we are currently getting things, but positive in that there are all sorts of things we can do to change environmental situations to subsequently alleviate the anxiety.
it is so crucial that all environments to which your child has frequent access are assessed from a sensory perspective so that he has the least risk of anxiety. Very often within the sensory world, what seems so minor to others can be the key in terms of what is causing an issue for your child.
All these examples show that sensory issues playThere is nothing more human than play. Humans were designed to learn in play. In fact, nearly all mammals evolved this way.Play’s Power At our learning space, we provide learners fresh… More a massive part in the day-to-day living experiences of your child. It is imperative that this is taken into account in as many environments as possible, in order that anxiety risk is minimized.
Sensory needs are an absolute necessity to get right if your child is to feel comfortable (literally and figuratively) at school,
sensory pleasure (which could be viewed as almost the opposite feeling to anxiety) can be one of the richest, most delightful experiences known to the autistic population – and should be encouraged at any appropriate opportunity.
Source: Beardon, Dr Luke. Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children: A Guide for Autistic Wellbeing (p. 15, 116, 123, 88, 115). John Murray Press. Kindle Edition.
Research to date suggests that individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) may be at increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following exposure to traumaticIn expanding our definitions of trauma, we must make sure we see trauma as a structural issue, not just an individual one. Scholars now recognize what people from marginalized communities… More life events. It has been posited that characteristics of ASD may affect perceptions of trauma, with a wider range of life events acting as possible catalysts for PTSD development.
Autistic adults experienced a wide range of life events as traumatic, with over 40% showing probable PTSD within the last month and over 60% reporting probable PTSD at some point in their lifetime. Many of the life events experienced as traumas would not be recognized in some current diagnostic systems, raising concerns that autistic people may not receive the help they need for likely PTSD.
Source: Experience of Trauma and PTSD Symptoms in Autistic Adults: Risk of PTSD Development Following DSM‐5 and Non‐DSM‐5 Traumatic Life Events – Rumball – 2020 – Autism Research – Wiley Online Library
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