Sunday, April 22, 2012

Autism and hypersensitivity

As most readers know one of my sons is diagnosed with classic autism.
One of the symptoms is hypersensitivity to sounds.

That the neighbourhood party opened with a percussionband right in front of our house was not appreciated by him.
I gave him a headset to listen to his own music at the back of the house, but the sounds move through the walls and floor and arrive at him as soft tremblings.
Just like a deaf person he's able to read them well and he still feels bombarded by sound.

My experience is that not many people are aware what hypersensitive people experience.
Light is an issue for him too.
We ignore so many lights and reflections and we don't realise it at all.
It makes me see what a miracles our brains are.
They filter out what would make us mad in the end.

But the autistic brain doesn't filter that out.
When I open a door and a reflection is caught in it, it can arrive at his brain as a forceful flash of light.
It can take him off guard and influence his mood within a second.

At school they had absolutely no understanding for it, and using matted paint was not in their repertoire of taking care of autistic pupils.
Here at the house I've changed the paint over the years after I became aware of the reflection problem.
It's such a minor adjustment and can means so much.


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