Sensory Trauma is the name Autism Wellbeing has given to a phenomenon that 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 have long been describing in our words and actions. The events we experience as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening may not necessarily be the extreme events typically associated with trauma. Sensory Trauma may arise from everyday activities such as taking a shower or going shopping. It can occur frequently and lead to us spending our lives in a state of hypervigilance. We respond to sensory information in a way that is totally proportionate to our genuine, lived experience. However, our responses may be mislabelled or misunderstood.
The impact of Sensory Trauma is significant. Infants may miss out on regulating, growth-promoting parental input. Toxic stress may modify areas of the brain involved in learning and memory and increase our vulnerability to a range of physical and mental health experiences with poorer outcomes.How sensory trauma affects how we grow develop and learn
The interconnectedness between sensory input, emotionsJustice, equality, fairness, mercy, longsuffering, Work, Passion, knowledge, and above all else, Truth. Those are my primary emotions.Very Grand Emotions: How Autistics and Neurotypicals Experience Emotions Differently » NeuroClastic https://youtu.be/uPRa6G2a48E… More, energy level, ongoing task and how you manage everything you have to do alongside coping with sometimes overwhelming sensory input is an experience that many autistic people are familiar with. Understanding just how much the sensory world can impact how anxious you feel, how well you can communicate, how able to do a food shop or even just enter a space is an important piece of understanding to build up. Without this understanding, from the perspective of autistic people, many may not understand how all-consuming the sensory environment can be for some and for others it is a way of being able to interact that releases anxiety and tension. Interacting with the sensory world through sensory seeking behaviours is strongly associated with stimmingSelf-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or words, or the repetitive movement of objects Stimming – Wikipedia Autistic adults highlighted the importance of stimming as… More (self-stimulatory behaviour that helps self-regulation) which is often a really positive (as long as no one is getting hurt) way of expression that can encompass happiness, anxiety, distress and so much more.Autistic sensory experiences, in our own words — Sarah O’Brien
In considering autistic sensory experience, we are thinking about autistic lives, the day to day experience of living as an autistic person. Given its implication in the ordinary acts of everyday life, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that, for many autistic people, sensory trauma has been there all along, hiding in plain sight.Sensory Trauma: Autism, Sensory Difference and the Daily Experience of Fear
Fear is the main emotion in autism…Thinking the Way Animals Do
What I understand autism to be – Spectrumy
Understanding the sensing and perceptual world of autistic people is central to understanding autism.
Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic people in housing | Local Government Association
Understanding the sensing and perceptual world of autistic people is central to understanding autism.
Everyone has eight sensing systems: the first five being the familiar sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. These five give us information about the world outside our bodies. Three internal sensing systems give us information from inside our bodies – our vestibular system (coordinating movement with balance), proprioception (awarenessAcceptance means training mental health service providers to look at autism and other disabilities as a part of a person’s identity, rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. Acceptance… More of position and movement of the body) and interoceptionInteroception our 8th sense, connects us to inner bodily awareness (e.g. pain, thirst, hunger, desire, hygiene & toilet needs, temperature, heart rate, breathing, even our bones, etc.) rather than sensations… More (knowing our internal state including feelings, temperature, pain, hunger and thirst). Although not all the external senses are equally affected by the physical environment, we consider them all – as they collectively add to the ‘sensory load’ that many autistic people often experience. Any sensory input needs to be processed and can reduce the capacity to manage and process other things.
As many autistic people process one thing at a time, sensory stimulation can stack up. As the brain’s highways become congested, there are repercussions throughout the entire neural network. This can lead to headaches, nausea and the fight and flight response, this is what causes many meltdownsMeltdowns 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 and shutdowns.Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic people in housing | Local Government Association
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.Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic people in housing | Local Government Association
I’m telling my story on behalf of the thousands of people with autism and / or learning disabilities who are inappropriately detained in hospitals…
I don’t respond well in a hospital, so I was stimming and pacing.
Stimming feels good to me and counteracted the busy, chaotic sensory environment of the hospital.
Overloaded that day, I desperately needed my walk. The staff, as usual, were very busy. I didn’t want to disturb them, but I had to have someone let me out. There were three doors between me and the outside world.“Unbroken: Learning to Live Beyond DiagnosisSelf diagnosis is not just “valid” — it is liberatory. When we define our community ourselves and wrest our right to self-definition back from the systems that painted us as… More” by Alexis Quinn
The divergent ways in which we process the world around us can also leave us fatigued and sapped of energy, as autistic people have “higher perceptual capacity” than our 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, meaning that we process greater volumes of information from our environment. Autistic people commonly use the concept of ‘spoon theory‘ to conceptualize this experience of having limited energy resources. Initially theorized in the context of chronic illness, spoon theoryAt that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in… More can be explained as every task and activity (enjoyable or otherwise) requiring a certain number of ‘spoons’. Most people start their day with such an abundance of spoons that they can do whatever they choose, and rarely run low. We autistic folk start with a limited number of spoons, and when those spoons run dangerously low, we need to step back, restWe urgently need a society that’s better at letting people get the rest they need.Fergus Murray WIP by Kristina Daniele I’m in pain. Mental. Physical. The result’s the same. Retreating… More, engage in self-care, and wait for our spoons to replenish.Doing More by Doing Less: Reducing Autistic Burnout | Psychology Today
Though autistic people live in the same physical world and deal with the same ‘raw material’, their perceptual world turns out to be strikingly different from that of non-autistic people.
Differences in perception lead to a different perceptual world that is inevitably interpreted differently. We have to be aware of these differences and help autistic individuals cope with painful sensitivities and develop their strengths (‘perceptual superabilities’) that are often unnoticed or ignored by non-autistic people.
The inability to filter foreground and background information can account for both strengths and weaknesses of autistic perception. On the one hand, autistic individuals seem to perceive more accurate information and a larger amount of it. On the other hand, this amount of unselected information cannot be processed simultaneously, and may lead to information overload. As Donna Williams describes it, autistic people seem to have no ‘sieves’ in their brains to select the information that is worth being attended to. This results in a paradoxical phenomenon: sensory information is received in infinite detail and holistically at the same time. This can be described as ‘gestalt perception’, that is, perception of the whole scene as a single entity with all the details perceived (not processed!) simultaneously. They may be aware of the information others miss, but the processing of ‘holisticSystems Thinking Is Not Indigenous Holistic ThinkingIndigenous holistic thinking is not systems thinking because many Indigenous peoples and communities do not separate their world or landscapes into “systems” in the… More situations’ can be overwhelming.Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Different Sensory Experiences – Different Perceptual Worlds
Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Different Sensory Experiences – Different Perceptual Worlds
Further readingThere are three types of reading: eye reading, ear reading, and finger reading.The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning Most schools and… More,