Sensory processing issues are common in individuals with autism. Sensory processing education in TX indicates that there are two extremes to these disorders. The majority of individuals who have sensory processing issues are overstimulated by touch, taste, sound, and light. These individuals will often avoid wearing certain clothing, avoid foods with odd textures or smells, or complain about noises that others don’t.
Others are under-stimulated and seek out things that increase sensory output. These individuals may not understand when they are too close or too rough while they’re playing. They may not feel pain as much as most people, and they have a need to release pent-up energy to feel the sensation. These individuals will often enjoy sour or bitter tastes. An even smaller group will experience both extremes in different areas.
Treating Sensory Processing Issues
An occupational therapist is often the best person to treat sensory processing issues. Working with the individual, the therapist can help in numerous ways. While there is no cure for the problems, there is a good chance that a person can learn to work around the issues. Over time, a child who becomes overstimulated can become more accustomed to the disturbing sensations. In other cases, they may learn various coping mechanisms. They may also learn what to watch for that indicates a possible meltdown. These coping skills will last a lifetime.
The child who seeks more stimulation needs to learn how to manage this need without creating a dangerous situation. Think about the stuntman who keeps performing more and more dangerous stunts for the sheer thrill. It is possible this is an individual who has sensory processing issues. They must also learn how to regulate things like touch, so they don’t unintentionally harm someone else.
Learning to Cope
As mentioned above, sensory processing issues don’t just disappear. What occurs is that a person learns ways to cope with the sensory input. A person may learn to avoid situations that they know may trigger a meltdown. Alternatively, they may learn to scope out escape routes at a stimulating location so they can take a break when they start to recognize the signs of overstimulation. In time, the person with these issues will gather an entire toolbox of coping mechanisms to get through every day. This is also true of the person who needs more stimulation. They may develop a regular workout schedule to expend energy or take up a sport. Fidget spinners became popular for this very reason, as they help relieve the need to be continuously active.
Improvement Over Time
With some people, sensory processing issues may improve with autism therapy programs. They don’t go away completely, but the brain develops, and new pathways may be created, which helps with processing sensory information. Maturity also helps a person understand what acceptable behaviors are, and this may help them learn to tolerate a bit more discomfort than they did when they were younger.
Discover Camp Worth
At Camp Worth, we are very familiar with sensory processing issues. If your teen with autism is having difficulty learning to deal with sensory processing issues, our occupational therapy may be the perfect solution. We also offer a range of alternative treatment options, including:
- Applied behavioral analysis
- Medication management
- Food and nutrition program
- Parent training program
Contact us today at 855.915.2545 to speak with a staff member and learn about what we have to offer in our program. Autism is an issue that will follow your child into adulthood, but it doesn’t have to prevent them from experiencing a full, productive life. We can help guide your adolescent onto the correct path, and our parenting program can help you continue directing them once they leave.