More often than not, individuals with ASD have unusual reactions to sensory stimulation. Some individuals show a hypersensitivity to stimuli, for example they can hear lights buzzing and cannot tolerate touch. Others display a hyposensitivity to stimuli, such as a high pain tolerance, are fascinated with spinning objects or must smell everything. A person with ASD may be fascinated with a piece of shiny paper or may spend hours rocking or watching objects twirl. In general, these types of reactions are providing some sort of sensory stimulation for the individual. An assessment by an Occupational Therapist will help your child if he/she is experiencing sensory problems.
The characteristics of Autism vary from one individual to another, however, as well as the three main areas of difficulty, individuals may have some of the following features:
- Preservation of sameness – routine bound.
Individuals may like and feel secure in carrying out activities of daily life in exactly the same way each day and get very upset if this is changed. For example, if a meal is delayed unexpectedly the individual may react badly.
- Organisational Skills
Often individuals with Autism have problems with organising themselves to carry out simple activities. There are a range of strategies that can support the individual to be more independent. For example, individuals may be able to dress themselves, yet, have problems with organising the clothes in the correct order or sequence.
- Special Interests
Often many individuals with Autism have a special interest. These can be lifelong interests or change from time to time. For example, they may have knowledge of a particular area like the weather, animals, computers or trains.