Most Common Sensory Issues?
What Is the Most Common Sensory Issues?
Adults and children experience many of the same sensory issues during their developmental years. For example, they both suffer from hot flashes. Both kids and adults can also have a sensitivity to sound, touch, smells, and tastes. A recent study showed that the tendency for these senses to be dysfunctions in adults is also seen in children. Therefore, it stands to reason that many of the same underlying causes that cause sensory processing problems in adults also apply to children with autism spectrum disorder.
However, what causes sensory processing problems in children? There is no one answer that works for every child with autism spectrum disorder. Some children are at a very high risk of developing sensory issues. While they may have some genetic or hormonal factors that account for their sensory processing problems, there are many other possible sources that can increase their risk.
One of the best ways to identify your child’s risk for developing sensory issues is by looking at how their hands and feet are oriented. If they have an aversion to laying their hands or feet on something cold, they could be at a great risk for developing sensory issue related to temperature. Children with autism often have different preferences for where they want to lay their hands or feet. Their preference could be to lie down on a cold surface or perhaps feel warm.
Sensory issues can also develop out of oversensitivity to physical stimuli. The majority of people can become sensitive to cold, as well as to loud noises. It’s when their sensitivity goes beyond their body awareness that the danger of developing sensory issues starts. Adults who are oversensitive to physical stimuli, such as tight, knotted clothes or clothing wrapping, or even touching something hot, may develop a chronic over sensitivity to physical stimuli. This type of over sensitivity can be extremely problematic and can actually lead to physical and/or developmental problems.
Another common over sensitivity is related to the sense of smell. Many children with autism either are over sensitized to smells or under sensitive to smells. They may show an aversion to eating certain foods because they “don’t smell like mommy” or may avoid social situations because of their fear of being embarrassed because they “smell like an adult”. While some over sensitivity to smells may be due to a physical factor, many children with sensory processing problems show no sign of being able to recognize a particular scent that others seem to enjoy.
Sensory issues can also develop due to poor body awareness. Body awareness refers to being aware of one’s surroundings. The elderly often have poor body awareness, but this can actually lead to an oversensitivity to sensations such as tingling or burning. Thus, older children may have a hard time telling the difference between hot or cold, or may develop a chronic over sensitivity to sensations such as walking on a hot surface.
As noted earlier in this article, one of the most common characteristics of Sensory Issues is oversensitivity to environmental factors. If you were to ask ten adults what their biggest problem was with the school, the majority would say that it was the amount of homework they had to do. While homework and/or school are a necessary part of growing up, too much homework can lead to an under-stimulated mind which can lead to an over-stimulated kid. The most important thing for teachers, parents and therapists to remember is that kids with sensory issues need to learn to relax. When they become overly stimulated, their brains are unable to settle down and learn appropriate relaxation techniques, which in turn leads to temper tantrums.
Unfortunately, many children with Sensory Issues often have difficulties controlling their mood swings and can even resort to violence to get attention. But just as with mood swings, too much stress or anxiety can cause temper tantrums and the same goes for tardiness or constant interrupting. Therapists, parents and teachers need to remember that kids with sensory processing issues are usually just kids! And they require lots of love and attention, not just from their parents but from professionals such as teachers, parents and therapists.