Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

This is an excellent video that explains Sensory Processing Disorder.  While SPD is a condition all o its own, a lot of Autistics (including me) experience SPD.  SPD is sometimes hard to explain because it is so individual.

In this video, the narrator talks about the seven sensory systems: sound, taste, smell, touch, vision, proprioception, and vestibular.

He discusses how you can be over-responsive and under-responsive in each of the seven systems and they each act independent of each other.  I love the metaphor of the big cups and little cups the boy talks about in the video.  It makes a lot of sense to me and I think it's a great way to explain it.

I have a little cup for sound, vision, and touch.  This means: loud noises really bother me, multiple noises at the same time really bother me, fast music really bothers me, too many people talking at the same time really bothers me...  This means: bright lights really bother me, repeating colorful patterns really bother me, flashing lights really bother me, sometimes the TV screen or computer screen bothers me...  This means: sometimes I can't stand it when people are touching me (especially light touch), I get easily startled when people touch my back, I really don't like it when my hands are not clean, I really don't like touching things directly with my hands...

I have a big cup for proprioception.  This means: sometimes I need to run around or jump or stomp or wave my arms or hands to release energy when I'm feeling stressed...

I think the rest of my "cups" are medium-sized.