Sensory-Friendly Home Modifications for Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

Source: Big Rentz
Written by: Lior Zitzman

When you have a child or family member on the autism spectrum, creating a safe and functional home environment is an important task. Autism can have a huge impact on an individual’s development, lifestyle, and social connections. People on the spectrum can be particularly sensitive to lights, sounds, and other stimuli. Many crave order and routines to make sense of the world. Safety can be a concern for those who wander, are drawn to water, or are prone to head banging or self injury.

According to the Autism Society, about 1 percent of the world’s population has autism spectrum disorder, and the condition affects about 1 in every 59 children born in the United States. This means that in America, 3.5 million people are on the autism spectrum. This number is growing as diagnostic criteria are becoming better understood.

Children and adults with autism often struggle with sensory integration, the neurobiological process of  interpreting and managing the sensory input they receive. It can be hard for them to make sense of sights, sounds, smells, and other sensory information.There are three main sensory systems that may be affected when an individual has autism. Understanding these three sensory systems is key to understanding individuals with autism and how they interact with their home environments: Click here to read the rest of the story

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How to design a neurodiverse workplace – simple tips from inclusivity experts

Source: Telegraph
Written by: Sian Phillips

For a significant minority, including those with ADHD, autism and dyslexia, background noise and bright lighting in the workplace is a problem. But there are ways to improve the working environment

Maybe it’s a colleague’s booming voice, a garish, ill-chosen mural or the persistent pong of garlic from the canteen, but every workplace has its irritating quirks.

While most people can ignore such annoyances, for a significant minority it is impossible and keeping them out of work.

Background noise is commonly a problem for people with dyslexia, ADHD and autism – so-called neurodivergent conditions – while bright lighting can also be a source of stress that can be particularly acute for some people. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Is ‘high-functioning autism’ a misleading term?

High-functioning autism is a term used for people with autism spectrum disorder without an intellectual disability, but Australian researchers say it should be abandoned because of the misleading and potentially harmful expectations it creates around the abilities of children on the autism spectrum.

Coined in the ’80s, it is now part of everyday language and has come to imply that people can function adequately, whether at school or at work, without much in the way of challenges.

For many individuals with autism spectrum disorder, this couldn’t be further from the truth, according to lead author Gail Alvares.

Alveres and her team from the Telethon Kids Institute and the University of Western Australia reviewed data for 2225 children and young people (aged 1-18) diagnosed with autism, about half of whom had intellectual disability, and half of whom did not.

They found those with an intellectual disability had functional skills which closely matched their IQ. However, those typically deemed to be high functioning due to having an average or higher IQ, had functional abilities well below what would be expected, given their IQ. Click here to read the rest of the story.

What happens to kids with disabilities in school lockdowns?

Published by: TODAY
Written by: Meghan Holohan

Students today are taught to “run, hide, fight” during a school shooting — but what if you can’t do any of those? Many parents fear that school lockdown plans are forgetting about kids with disabilities.

Seth Chessman can’t move his legs below his knees. The 10-year-old navigates life pretty well with a wheelchair, or sometimes a skateboard he uses to get around school. But his mom, Contessa Chessman, worries he would struggle to escape during a fire or an active shooter situation.

“If there is an emergency situation, he can’t get up and run out,” Contessa Chessman, 46, of Anaheim Hills, California, told TODAY. “It paralyzes me to think about it to be honest.” Click here to read the rest of the story

PARENTS SHARE HOW HAVING SIBLINGS WITH AUTISM MAKES THEM BETTER PEOPLE

Published by: Our Crazy Adventure in Autismland
Written by: Teresa Cooper

Ever wondered whether to have a second or third child after having a child diagnosed with autism? It can be difficult to think about it when you have the challenges in front of you, but many parents have had other children and found out just how rewarding it is to have siblings for children with autism. Here are some of the thoughts they’ve shared on the topic. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Mom Invents Seatbelt Cover That Alerts Emergency Services To Medical Conditions

Published by: The Autism Site

When I was a teenager arguing with my mom about curfew, she said, “Of course I’m always going to worry. I’m your mother, it’s my job.”

Moms can be real-life superheroes sometimes, but they’re human, too. They worry, they plan ahead, and they do what they can to keep us safe while knowing full well that scary and dangerous situations still may find us anyway.

For children with special needs or medical conditions, that worry takes on a sharper edge. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Experts Warn Against Use of the Term “High-Functioning” to Describe People with Autism

Published by: The Autism Site
Written by: Elizabeth Nelson

If you’ve been in the autism community for long, you’ve surely heard the term “high-functioning” applied to people on the autism spectrum who don’t also have an intellectual disability or don’t require much extra assistance navigating the world. It’s common to hear this phrasing not only in everyday life but also in higher-quality resources like medical journals. But many people have already identified problems with the common use of the term “high-functioning,” and recent research further reiterates why the word shouldn’t be used. Click here to read the rest of the story.

The Meaning of a Meltdown

Published by: Someone’s Mum Blog

To most parents, the words tantrum and meltdown are interchangeable – a way to describe a frustrated and uncontrollable child – the name for those moments when strangers stare and you wish you could shrink into yourself. Every parent knows them.

To the parents of autistic children, and parents of children with sensory processing issues, those words will always mean very different things.

It is hard to make others understand. The difference between those two words is central to my life. I wish I could explain; I wish I could show you…

But a child in meltdown is confidential. I cannot show my gorgeous boy in full meltdown mode because it is, should be, taboo. It lays him bare, at his most vulnerable. He is pure emotion, pure anguish. There are no photos, no record of our bleakest times but these words.

There are those who will witness such moments; they will see. But they will not KNOW. No one, not even his grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles – the hundreds of people who love him – they do not KNOW.

I can give you the definitions – Click here to read the rest of the story

DIY Sensory Activities for your Child With Autism

Dysfunctional sensory system is a common Symptom of Autism as well as other developmental disabilities. In this, sometimes one or more senses can either be hypo or hyper sensitive to stimulation and can lead to behaviors like rocking, spinning, and hand- flapping, irritability and hyperactivity.

There are three basic senses that are critical for our survival- tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive. Sensory Integration techniques or therapies of these senses can facilitate attention and awareness, and reduce overall arousal.

In this article, each of these sensory systems will be covered. There also will be a Do-it-yourself (DIY) activity mentioned to overcome dysfunction and improve functioning of these sensory systems. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Sensory Eating is not Picky Eating

Published by: Speaking of Autism

I want you to imagine that you are a kid once again, maybe ten or eleven years old. You are sitting down in the evening with your family for dinner. The table is set, and your parents bring out what will be tonight’s entree: a cut of cold, raw chicken breast. It’s slimy pink mass slides onto the plate in front of you, and soon after your whole family is chowing down on the raw cuts of meat. You can’t stand to even watch anyone else eat the raw chicken, let alone fathom yourself choking it down. Yet, despite the very real disgust and aversion you feel towards the raw chicken breast, somehow it’s you who are strange for not wanting to eat it. Maybe you’re called “picky” or told that you simply need to and just learn to enjoy raw chicken like everyone else. Maybe you go hungry every night at dinner because the only thing being served are items as aversive as the cuts of raw chicken. Click here to read the rest of the story.