Everyone has a range of sensory systems which help us understand and interact with the world (such as hearing, smell, touch and balance). Most people have quite similar sensory systems and the world we live in is balanced to suit these - for example, the lights are the right brightness and sounds are commonly the right volume. However, for a high proportion of people on the autism spectrum their sensory systems function differently. This means some things may be overwhelming (too loud or too smelly, for example) or the person may miss a lot of what is happening around them - people with sensory processing differences may find some environments difficult to cope with or they may miss key information.
If you would like to know more about Sensory Assessments, please contact us.
- What are 'Sensory Processing Differences'?
It is a common misconception that all people on the autism spectrum are hyper (or over) sensitive, many are hypo (or under) sensitive. People can also respond differently if they are not getting the right levels of sensory stimulation - some may run away or want to touch or lick everything, whereas others may just sit in the environment getting more anxious. A sensory assessment helps us to identify whether a person will seek out stimulation or avoid it, whether they are over sensitive to it or whether they simply do not notice much of what is happening around them. From this we can then plan appropriate environmental changes and a 'sensory diet'.
- What is a 'Sensory Assessment'?
After a sensory assessment, when we have a better understanding of the way the person process the sensory information around them, we can then plan a sensory diet. A sensory diet is like a normal diet, but instead of putting in the right foods and leaving out the wrong ones, we put in the right type of sensory stimulation and leave out those types of stimulation we know the person finds diffciult. This often increases the person quality of life, makes them happier and more regulated and can reduce behaviours of concern.
- What is a 'Sensory Diet'?