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Using pressure to alleviate sensory overload

Discussion in 'Autism Science Discussions' started by Herschel Ruben, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Herschel Ruben

    Herschel Ruben New Member

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    Hi,

    I am a fourth-year product design student on the autism spectrum who attends the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. I would like to talk to people also on the autism spectrum who have utilized pressure to alleviate sensory overload. Specifically, I am interested in how it helped them and when.

    If you or someone you know have any experience with this, please consider participating and/or passing this request on to them.

    I am new to the forum, and I don't want to cross any boundaries, so please let me know if this post is inappropriate and needs to be removed or modified.
     
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  2. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    "Utilised pressure" - I'm not sure what that means exactly.

    Mentally? Body Meridians? From Peers and colleagues? Other pressure I'm not familiar with?


    Which pressure are we utilising please? :)
     
  3. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

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    I think they're referring to physical pressure e.g. when Dr. Temple Grandin speaks of a creating a "squeeze machine" that she could get into. I've seen it referenced in some other biographies/memoirs where aspies state that they find physical pressure to help them or other aspies relax.
     
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  4. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply :)
    I'm not familiar with squeeze machines.

    Although I guess the pressure from a weighted blanket, for example, could be viewed as a milder form of pressure when compared to my own interpretation of a squeeze machine.

    Thanks again :)
     
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  5. lolcatal

    lolcatal Well-Known Member

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    Squeezing my dogs (not too hard of course) certainly works for me.
     
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  6. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Weighted blankets or vests, and compression vests etc. Are often used to help autistic people deal with sensory processing and to calm down. It's has been a regular part of an occupational therapist's "toolbox" for autistics for decades. I personally also found a full body wetsuit (minus sleeves) quite helpful when my life was stressful. Even slept in it for a few hours at a time for a while when my weighted blanket wasn't enough.
     
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  7. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    That could work too. The touch pressure stimulating the nervous system, reducing effects of the fight & flight response.

    I've only seen such methods for calming dogs before now.
    (Thunder Shirt & Tellington Touch)

    Learn something new every day :)
     
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  8. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There's people on here who use weighted blankets, for example @HeroOfHyrule and @UberScout. I hadn't heard of weighted blankets til I came here, but I always have liked heavy layers of blankets on my bed.

    @WolfSpirit , I m afraid it's another of those well known to some yet not widely disseminated bits of useful information about what can be helpful for people who feel the effects of autism. We all reinvent the wheel around here, not to mention the many thousands of others out there who never came across the key to aspects of how they are.
     
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  9. Bibliophile715

    Bibliophile715 Armin - system member - any pronouns

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    Yeah, I use pressure to help alleviate stress from sensory overloads sometimes. I don't have a weighted blanket so I cover myself in my bed with my comforter and maybe a couple jackets and a warm heating pad. As my family thinks weighted blankets are too expensive to use just for myself so I don't have one. It works and was really helpful in the past when I would come home from school feeling overwhelmed I'd just stay a few hours in my room.
     
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  10. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    If I remember right, it's the 'long receptors' of the proprioception system that are activated. (been a long time since that psychology class though, so I've forgotten most of the details.)
     
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  11. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    I've decided to write a "beginner's guide to being autistic" to help with that. I wonder if it's the glut of information on autism out there now that's part of the problem. (as opposed to the beginning of the millennium, say)
     
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  12. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    One of the things I've noticed in the last couple years is the much wider availability of weighted blankets, including ones for as low as $50 CAN (as opposed to $200-$300.) :D:D Made it much easier when I needed to replace my old one! And the quality is the same, as far as I can tell. With NTs figuring out what the sensory integration community has known for years, it's become much easier to find sensory integration tools than it used to be!

    What I'm trying to say here is that perhaps you can talk your family into invest the money if you approach them about one of the less expensive ones?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
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  13. Bibliophile715

    Bibliophile715 Armin - system member - any pronouns

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    Perhaps I might be able to, though it will have to take a good amount of convincing my parents to even let me order one online. My parents are incredibly stubborn about ordering things online that aren't already in any sort of stores nearby where they can look for something similar. This was already attempted because I have nagged at them in the past to get me a weighted blanket and they listened when my brother (he's a diagnosed autistic as well but not on this site) joined in as he likes those too due to his sensory issues. So my parents went to a store and found one heavy blanket sort of thing, but it was cheap (around $20, I think, and I'm not sure if it was even an actual weighted blanket). It didn't last for that many months as it kept getting shared between him and me before the weight got too uneven in it. I think the second attempt at convincing them may be better hopefully.
     
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  14. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Doesn't that get tiring? There's got to be a better way. (On here, at least.)
     
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  15. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There's always a better way. What are you thinking?
     
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  16. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    I like this idea.
    I wanted to ask who the book will be pitched at?
     
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  17. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    People on the spectrum, newly diagnosed, or otherwise lacking information about what it means to have received a dx of ASD. Probably going to be more of a booklet than an full book.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  18. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Not sure exactly. Haven't thought about it that far yet. Mostly taking a break from here and attending to my life in the real world. Especially as the weather is getting so much nicer. But to start with, a glossary of terms and acronyms common to 'the autistic experience' for lack of a better phrase. Annotated for different terms in the different countries represented here. (or separated by country, though annotated might be easier to keep track of).

    I've only been on this site for a few weeks, so there are probably others on this site who are more familiar with it who can come up with ideas with how to consolidate some of the most important bits of information into one place. :)
     
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  19. Herschel Ruben

    Herschel Ruben New Member

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    I'm talking about physical compression to calm the body's nervous system.
     
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  20. Herschel Ruben

    Herschel Ruben New Member

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    I'm very curious as to why 'minus sleeves'. If it's ok, I'd love to know why and when you found the need to use it.