Common Signs In Tactile Difficulties

Tactile difficulties occur when the nervous system dysfunctions and the brain is unable to process information through the senses. Some children and adults with this form of sensory processing disorder will be over sensitive to touch. Between 5 to 13 percent of the population is diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.

Common Signs of Tactile Difficulties
  • Difficulty with having nails cut or teeth brushed
  • Becomes upset when hair is washed
  • Dislikes any clothing with tags including clothes, hats, shoes, and complains about the type of fabric and the style
  • Dislikes getting their hands dirty or messy
  • Overreacts when they are touched by other people
  • Oversensitive to temperature change
  • Over or under reacts to pain
  • Prefers deep pressure touch rather than light touch
  • Avoids messy textures
  • Prefers pants and long sleeves in hot weather
  • Picky eater
  • Eyes may be sensitive to cold wind
  • Avoids walking barefoot
  • Avoids standing close to other people
  • May be anxious when physically close to other people
Strategies for Handling Tactile Defensiveness
  • Use deep pressure
  • use weighted items including blankets, vest and backpacks
  • Seek out an OT
  • Utilize a sensory diet
  • Minimize time expected to stand and wait in line by having the child go first or last in line
  • Allow the child to wear a jacket indoors
  • Encourage the child to brush his or her body with a natural brush during bath time
  • Create activities using play doh or silly putty
References

Autism Parenting Magazine

Kids Companion

Sensory Processing Disorder.com

Chu, Sidney (1999), Tactile Defensiveness: Information for parents and professionals

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Hyperlexia: What You Need To Know

Hyperlexia is described as a syndrome where children have the precocious ability to read words and sentences far beyond their chronological age. Some children read as early as 15 months old. Although these children can read words at an early age, they are unable to comprehend its meaning and also lag in speech and social skills. Children with hyperlexia also have an obsession with letters and numbers including writing numbers and drawing shapes in letters.

Dr. Darold A. Treffert, through his research identified three subtypes:

Hyperlexia Type1: is described as neurotypical children who learned to read early through words and pictures.

Hyperlexia Type 2: children who are able to memorize words in a book and may have what is referred to as splinter skills including the ability to display remarkable gifts in the area of art, music, calendar calculations, sensory and reading. Typically the child will also have a diagnosis of autism. Hyperlexia is not considered a disorder, rather it is part of the autistic diagnosis. While symptoms of hyperlexia in autistic children tend to disappear as they grow. Many autistic adults report still having hyperlexia.

Hyperlexia Type 3: children will show autistic-like characteristics including sensory processing disorder and communication which led to being misdiagnosed with autism. Although they have a fascination with words and numbers, challenges arise with language and social skills. Some may begin to regress after the age of 24 months.

Rebecca Williamson Brown, describes hyperlexia as having two types:

Type 1: children display excellent visual memory however often display expressive language challenges and tend to have a lower verbal IQ due to lack of meaning of words. These children tend to have a lower verbal IQ and tend to show similarities to autistic children.

Type 2: Language appears to be normal however, the child seems to have difficulty with expressive language and shows challenges with visual motor integration skills.

Symptoms Associated With Hyperlexia
  • Literal thinkers
  • Social skills deficits
  • Echolalia
  • The ability to memorize words without the ability of understanding its meaning
  • Learns to read early compared to peers
  • Strong memory skills
  • Challenged in using verbal language

Teaching Students with Hyperlexia

Children with hyperlexia learning language without understanding the meaning of words. According to Katz, (2003), children with hyperlexia typically:

  • Learn best visually
  • Seek patterns
  • Demonstrate significant difficulties processing what they hear
  • Have extraordinary verbal limitations
  • Learn expressive language by echoing or memorizing sentence structure
  • Have strong auditory and visual memory
  • Think in concrete, rigid and very literal terms
  • Demonstrate an intense need to keep routine
  • Have highly focused interest
  • Have difficulty with reciprocal interaction.

Teaching Strategies

The following strategies are helping when teaching children with hyperlexia:

  • Use rote learning
  • Use examples rather than explanations
  • Use visual list
  • Pair oral with visual instructions
  • Offer choices
  • Use repetition
  • Provide relaxation tools
  • Use high-interest activities
Adults with Hyperlexia

While little research exits on adults with hyperlexia. Most research indicate that children will outgrow hyperlexia which is not the case for all children self-reporting adults indicate mis-diagnosed with ADHD and often Asperger’s. In adulthood, adults still struggle with the “W” questions and continue to have social and sensory issues. As children, they had the ability to read words above what was expected at their age. Socializing is still a challenge  as well as thinking in concrete and literal terms. Many also expressed that they are echolalic and will repeat back a question asked of them.

Workplace

The following may be helpful for an adult with hyperlexia:

  • Harsh light may be difficult to work under. Provide a quiet workspace with soft lighting.
  • Do not force team activities and office events can cause anxiety for people with hyperlexia
  • Be specific in your request
  • Visual job aids are helpful
  • Write down instructions.
  • Allow time for processing verbal information

Resources

Katz, Karen (2003), Hyperlexia: Therapy that works: A guide for parents and teachers. The Center for Speech and Language Disorder

 

 

The Link Between Sensory Sensitivity And Anxiety No One Talks About

Sensory Processing Disorder anxiety

Published by: Learning Minds

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your environment? Do sights, sounds, smells or textures sometimes exhaust you and make you feel anxious? You could be suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder.

Our brains take in information from our five senses through our eyes, nose, ears, skin and taste buds. We use this information in order to be able to function in the world. However, if during the intake of information our processing goes awry, it can then affect us in different ways. Read here the read the rest of the story.

Clothespin Games: An Affordable Sensory Tool

clothespin games

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Special-Ism

The original purpose of clothespins is for hanging up clothes to dry on a line.  But did you know that the simple little clothespins in either plastic or wood can be an inexpensive tool that provides heavy work for the hands? In addition to heavy work (proprioceptive input), clothespins can offer fine and gross motor input.  Let’s explore the idea of using clothespins as a sensory tool in a variety of clothespin games. Click here to read the ret of the story

Book Review: The Out-Of-Sync Child Grows Up

 

outof sync

The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up: Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder in the
Adolescent and Young Adult Years
By: Carol Kranowitz
Forward by: Lucy Jane Miller
Published by: Peguin Random House
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback, Kindle

This book is the long-awaited follow-up to the best seller, The Out-Of-Sync Child. Presenting information and advice for tweens, teens, and young adults living with Sensory Processing Disorder, and their parents. The purpose of the book is to offer coping strategies for SPD, help readers living with SPD share their stories and to increase public awareness about SPD.

The book is broken into 4 parts. Ms. Kranowitz begins the first chapter with background history o how she started gathering information on SPD. Chapter 2 describes typical and atypical development. Part 2 describes coping with daily activities and part 3 explains coping with relationships while part 4 provides insight into living an “In-Sync” life.

The book also provides personal stories from people with SPD. Their stories move the book from one of practical tips to truly understanding the experiences of a child with SPD. The format of the book will help people with SPD realize they are not alone and help both parents and professionals understand the needs of a teen and young adult with SPD.

 

 

 

Asperger’s Syndrome Resources

aspergers blog

What is Asperger’s Syndrome?

According to NINDS, Asperger syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized be an impairment in language and communication skills and repetitive behavior with typically an IQ of 70 and above.

Other Known Names
  • High Functioning Autism
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Aspies
  • Autistic
  • Neurodiverse
Comorbid Attributes
Characteristics
  • Difficulty in forming friendships
  • A preference for playing alone or with older children or adults
  • May be socially awkward
  • May not understand conventional social rules
  • Limited eye contact
  • May not understand the use of gestures or sarcasm
  • Obsessive preoccupation with objects
  • Normal physical growth and development
  • Need for sameness.
Statistics
  • 1.5:1 to 16:1 per 1,000
  • Males more likely to have Asperger’s syndrome than females
  • Females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (high functioning may be underdiagnosed
  • All racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups are impacted.
History
  • Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist in 1943 published a paper entitled, Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, which described 11 children who were highly intelligent but displayed an ‘obsessive insistence on persistent sameness.’ He later named the condition- “early infantile autism.”
  • Hans Asperger’s, a Viennese child psychologist published the first definition of Asperger’s syndrome in 1944. He noted in four boys, a pattern f behavior and abilities including a lack of empathy, little ability to form friendships and clumsy movement.
Online Community Support

Wrong Planet– A web community designed for individuals (and parents/professionals) with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, PDD and other neurological differences. The website provides a discussion forum, articles, how-to-guides and therapy services.

Teaching Strategies – The following articles are for teachers and service providers on techniques and strategies when teaching or providing services to a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.

6 steps to success for Asperger’s syndrome

AS teaching strategies

Classroom tip for students with Asperger’s Syndrome

Teaching Asperger’s students: 32 tips for educators

Teaching strategies for Asperger students

Organizations

Asperger/Autism Network (AANE). Founded in 1996 by a small group of concerned parents and professionals. AANE works with individuals, families and professionals and provides information, education, community support and advocacy.

Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA). AHA helps families and individuals become more informed self-advocates.

Selected Articles on Asperger’s Syndrome

A powerful identity, a vanishing diagnosis (New York Times)

Autism and Asperger’s not easily understood (Fort Madison Daily Democrat)

Autism can be an asset in the workplace, employers and workers find (NPR)

My lifelong struggle with Asperger’s (Policy.Mic)

Navigating life with Asperger’s (Voice of Muscatine)

Program created to help EMT’s with autistic patients (EMS1.com)

Unmasking Asperger’s syndrome (Business Standard)

What It’s like to live with autism as an adult (Good Housekeeping)

Articles For Parents of Children with Asperger’s Syndrome

8 tips for parents of kids with Asperger’s syndrome

Ask Dr. Sears: Coping with Asperger’s syndrome

Raising a child with Asperger’s syndrome

Understanding Asperger’s syndrome disorder- Parent Guide

April Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the April article links and resources. These are articles that I  tweeted during the month of April on special needs and developmental disability topics. I tweet articles and links everyday.

5 Things That Helped Me Parent a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder (The Mighty)

6 Resources for Working with Scouts with Autism (Scouting Magazine)

A Brief History of Autism Research (The Atlantic)

How Minecraft is Helping Children with Autism Make New Friends (New Scientist)

My Son’s Autism Changed Everything- Even Our Church (Christianity Today)

Peer Mentoring Helps Students with Autism Learn Social Skills ( Miami Herald)

Tactile Sensitivities with Sensory Processing Disorder (growinghandsonkids.com)

The Correlation Between ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder (Psych Central)

What are the Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder? (Sensory Spectrum)

Why are Researchers Missing Signs of Autism in Girls? (PRI)