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Sensory processing disorder - always there for ASD?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by leehart, Nov 8, 2019 at 10:11 AM.

  1. leehart

    leehart Active Member

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    Hi all, I have been doing my reading and listening here and on Twitter. I realise that a lot mention sensory processing difficulties and the challenge of these. I am not really aware of having any sensory issues that inhibit my life. The only things I am aware of which I have assumed perfectly normal are:
    I am funny with food textures and never eat burnt food,
    don’t like creams or anything sticky
    multiple loud noises can agitate me
    Don’t cope with bright light it makes me fall asleep
    Not a fan of woolly clothing as it is too itchy

    None of the above really inhibits me, I just eat the food I like and try to avoid lots of noise.
     
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  2. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    No. It is not a necessary requirement to have sensory differences in order to be diagnosed autistic, however it is extremely common.
     
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  3. leehart

    leehart Active Member

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    Something just came to my mind - unexpected loud noises...?

    By this one example was an old job I had. Every now and then an item would fall into a machine whilst using it, it created a loud bang. I hated using that machine and in the end I couldn't! Key part in me failing in that job in the end. I would get a cold shiver any time I used it and felt panic...there was never danger, just a noise but I hated it.
     
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  4. leehart

    leehart Active Member

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    Sorry to make this a solo thread as it seems something is connecting. Can anyone share if this thing about loud bangs is likely to be a sensory processing thing? It truly bricked that job but another example comes to minds...sorry any Americans ;)

    I hate guns! The noise of the trigger being pulled is overwhelming. I wouldn't say it would cause a meltdown but more stress, fear and anxiety. I couldn't even explain why but if someone put a gun in my hand I wouldn't be able to pull the trigger because of the noise it would make.
     
  5. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Sensory overloads can be caused by specific stimuli, not just by a particular sense, so it's possible. There are other explanations too, but it's possible. I posted this on another thread on the same subject a couple of days ago, but you might find it useful.

     
  6. SolarPoweredNightOwl

    SolarPoweredNightOwl Walking contradiction

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    Keep in mind sensory processing doesn't have to be impairing, sometimes it can even work to one's advantage. Like, high pitched noises often hurt me, but good luck trying to break into my house or vehicle without me hearing you.

    My unprofessional opinion is you should use neurotypicals as a yardstick. Do people react viscerally to the same things you do? Do they even notice certain things? For instance, lots of people dislike sudden loud sounds, but few lose jobs over it (or rather, by anticipation of the distress it would cause). I was driven almost insane by the music played over loudspeaker at one job, but nobody else seemed to even notice what was playing, or remember that there was even music. (Almost) nobody likes burned food, but skin care creams and such are a twelve-figure industry, so presumably many people are okay with goops and creams and such.

    EDIT: I've never heard of bright light putting someone to sleep, care to elaborate?
     
  7. leehart

    leehart Active Member

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    The only other example I’ve heard of someone experiencing this was here lol! I was googling it and it found an instance in one of the topics here.

    When light is too bright I can’t adjust to it, my eyes struggle and I can’t really focus well. What builds is an intense and almost irresistible need to sleep...imagine complete exhaustion but worse because the ability to stay awake is disappearing. It is painful to an extent but that is secondary to the agitation of trying to stay awake. This is mostly caused by winter sun glare or very bright lights shining directly into my eyes.

    I wear sunglasses now which helps stop it some but not entirely.
     
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  8. SolarPoweredNightOwl

    SolarPoweredNightOwl Walking contradiction

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    Huh, that sounds almost like shutting down to avoid the light.
     
  9. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I like eating somewhat burned food. Crispy, I call it...

    Yes a few things you mentioned sound like sensory issues, especially the fears of the noise and the reaction to the light. It's interesting when you start to realise how things you have just accepted as your personal oddities are connected to autistic traits isn't it? I have gradually done that , and it does help make sense of oneself.
     
  10. leehart

    leehart Active Member

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    Can you explain a bit more about what shutdown means? Sorry that might be obvious but it would confirm if I'm assuming right!
     
  11. leehart

    leehart Active Member

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    I can't even eat burnt crisps (potato chips) lol! I remember as a kid hating the taste of some crisps, soon worked out it was the burnt ones. Can't eat anything burnt the taste is too strong.

    Yeah, this is something I need to keep exploring and asking questions on because I am completely self unaware of this stuff. I have never considered that some stuff wasn't the norm.

    Edit: thinking about my hearing I can hear things others can't. Tones others can hear...an example in an old job there was a doorbell to get let in. That seemed to connect with someone in the community's bell as sometimes ours would go off and no one had pressed our one. There was a difference though in the last note between our bell and the other bell and I could hear this plain as day, no one else could which I couldn't understand.

    I can also hear easily things people don't expect me to and high pitch noises like electronic mouse repellers. The thing is it is very rare any of that overwhelms me, every now and then all the noises get too much but this is rare and I just leave that space.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019 at 3:38 AM
  12. SolarPoweredNightOwl

    SolarPoweredNightOwl Walking contradiction

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    Shutdown

    Basically, there's too much going on to cope with so you mentally withdraw. It takes an autist more energy to process things and navigate the world, sometimes we run out of energy and aren't able to continue. I get it a lot when people talk too much (I have a hard time processing speech) or I'm forced to socialize/mask excessively.

    I connected it with your reaction to bright light because if I'm understanding you correctly, the process goes something like:
    1. Very bright light (strong sensory stimulus) appears.
    2. You find yourself unable to process it (eyes can't adjust, can't see properly, but you need to see!)
    3. Can't focus since all your resources are going to trying to make visuals work.
    4. Burning through resources exhausts you, and agitation at being unable to deal with stimulus, combine to make you want to sleep (recharge, avoid further bright light).

    I could be totally wrong, of course, but that was why I mentioned shutdown.
     
  13. leehart

    leehart Active Member

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    Hi yeah, that does explain what it is like to a good degree. The one thing I would say is that I move from stage 1-4 fairly quickly. I feel it starting, my eyes start to struggle, I try to shield the light but it can't really be stopped at that point and then the exhaustion begins.

    Generally I have to pull over and walk it off which can take a good while depending on how bad it's gotten.