There is not yet a complete neurobiological explanation for why sensitivity to sensory impressions is so common in autism, but on the other hand, there is a lot of empirical knowledge about how this happens, says Mats Jansson. own nest. He is an expert researcher at Autism Sweden and one of the authors of the new book, which consists of interviews with people with autism and their families as well as texts written by people with autism and specialists in the field of autism.
High or low sensitivity to sensory impressions may affect at least 70% of all autistic people. Therefore, it is important to understand how experiences of sensory impressions can affect the daily life of an autistic person, says Mats Jansson and continues.
– It is important that the environment accepts and respects knowledge based on experience.
7 points from the new book on autism and sensory impressions:
1. Objection – sensory impressions from within
objection It is the area that has received more attention in recent years in relation to autism. Interoception is the part of perception that deals with the sensory impressions we experience within ourselves, for example hunger, thirst or the need to urinate and how we experience body temperature, breathing or pulse.
Studies and experiments show that people with autism can have less developed cognitive awareness. Then it can be difficult to recognize what is going on in the body, for example, when you are angry or afraid, which in turn can make it more difficult to regulate emotions. But there is experience that indicates the possibility of training with inner awareness, says Mats Jansson.
2. Sensitivity varies
How sensitivity to sensory impressions manifests varies, whether between individuals or within the same person over time, or depending on stress or other factors. Some sensitivities are common, such as sensitivity to sharp or loud sounds or sensitivity to the edges of laundry and sharp seams on the inside of clothing, but they can also be in many other ways and can relate to all kinds of sensory impressions, including balance and sensitivity. body and sense of movement.
3. “impression sensitivity
Sensitivity to sensory impressions is called impression sensitivity in some autistic people. Exposure to overwhelming individual impressions in the form of sound, light, smells or other things can affect the ability to focus or communicate, for example. It can be a strong contributing factor pressure.
– And this stress, in turn, can further affect sensitivity to sensory impressions. It can then be felt as the equivalent of sensitivity, your inability to tolerate certain impressions, says Mats Jansson.
4. Understanding prevents ill health
Understanding the impact of sensory impressions, for example in school or the workplace, gives the opportunity to identify and treat stress and unpleasant experiences. can be prevented.
– Mats Jansson says: – Simple things like replacing your blinking fluorescent tubes, getting a quiet room for your lunch break, using a cover, bench guards, ear muffs and more often go a long way.
5. Positive sensory impressions
The diagnostic criteria for autism refer to a “particular interest in sensory aspects of the environment”. Not only do sensory impressions of all kinds be stressful, but they can also be a source of heightened positive experiences and emotions. They may, for example, intensely enjoy different smells, sounds, lights, or movements.
– In the same way that you need to identify sensory impressions that have a negative effect so that unpleasant experiences can be prevented, it is good to identify those that give positive experiences so that there are more such occasions, says Mats Jansson.
Closely related to the so-called swarm Or they have shallow waters. Swarming can be swinging, fiddling with your fingers, arranging things, spinning, jumping, buzzing, or anything else. In most cases, it is about dealing with impressions and feelings, expressing or achieving positive sensory experiences.
7. The response of the environment is important
Sensory impressions from the outside and the inside affect everyone all the time. For the autistic person, some sensory impressions may be disturbing and stressful, and others may be a source of positive emotions.
– For those in the environment, it is important that they do not start from their perceived reality, but instead use their imagination, try to understand, open up and respond because other people may have very different experiences from their way of perceiving them, says Mats Jansson.
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