Beyond Fire Drills and Shirt Tags

Source: Psychology Today

Hearing…..Sight…..Smell…..Taste…..Touch

These are what usually come to mind when we think of the Senses-The Five Senses.

Notably, it was Aristotle who defined the senses in this way. He even gave them a name: “The 5 Outward Wits.” The idea stuck and even today we often think of the senses as these 5 independently operating systems that arise from our interaction with the world outside of ourselves. However, a growing body of research demonstrates that the senses are much more varied and complicated than once thought.

Understanding the workings of our sensory system is crucial if we are to properly understand and support children on the autism spectrum. Difficulty with regulating sensory input is a common occurrence in autism. When the brain cannot effectively filter or organize sensory input, the sensations can break through in a manner that is experienced as harsh and overwhelming. This results in sensory sensitivities.  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.

Rethinking Autism and “Picky Eating”

Published by: Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
Written by: “Seeking Sara”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been ashamed of what I do and don’t eat. The stigma of being a “picky eater” has followed me my whole life, bringing comments (and no small amount of exasperation) from family, friends, wait staff, and strangers.

I’ve recently been examining why I struggle with certain foods, and have come to the same conclusion as I have with much of my post-autism-diagnosis self-exploration: I’m actually incredibly strong, and my experiences are real and valid.

Why am I so “picky”? Well, if you could experience my senses for a few hours, I bet you’d be more understanding, less judgmental, and I’m fairly certain you’d stop using the word “picky” pretty quickly.

Often times, I want desperately to like a food, to be able to order anything at random, or to just eat whatever is put in front of me without hesitation. But for me, food is almost always a relentlessly overpowering experience. Click here to read the rest of the story.

RESOURCES

4 techniques for picky eaters with autism

8 secret strategies for sensory issues with food

Autism and food issues

Encouraging picky eaters to try new food

How to help your child with autism overcome picky eating

Mealtime and children on the autism spectrum: Beyond picky, fussy, and fads

Picky vs. problem eater: A closer look at sensory processing disorder

The picky eater

When your child with autism is a picky eater

Why children with autism struggle with eating

What Does Sensory Processing Look Like In Adults?

Sensory Processing Disorder in Adults
Source: (ADDitude)

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) manifests in many small, sometimes maddening ways. Itchy tags may be unbearable. Loud music intolerable. Perfume simply sickening. Whatever the specific symptoms, SPD makes it difficult to interact with your daily environment. This impacts how you relate to others, study and learn, participate in sports and group activities, and follow your dreams. It is a unique and challenging neurological condition associated with inefficient processing of sensory information, and it deserves serious support.

SPD disrupts how the brain — the top of the central nervous system — takes in, organizes, and uses the messages received through our body’s receptors. We take in sensory information through our eyes, ears, muscles, joints, skin and inner ears, and we use those sensations – we integrate them, modulate them, analyze them and interpret them — for immediate and appropriate everyday functioning. Click here to read the rest of the story.

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)

January Special Needs Article Links

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

  1. IEP terms you should know– understood.org
  2. 10 Things Medics Should Know About Your Autism– Autism Parenting Magazine
  3. Horse therapy improved memory and attention in cerebral palsy patients-horsetalk.co
  4. 5 myths about sensory processing disorder– Integrated Strategies
  5. It’s not easy teaching special education-NPR
  6. 5 ways to use interactive books in the classroom-Autism Classroom Resources
  7. Parent of child with down syndrome pens book on financial planning for special needs family members– The Gazette
  8. Kindergarten and Sensory Processing Disorder– The Jenny Evolution
  9. Surviving the wandering nightmare– Autism After 16
  10. 7 best teaching apps for kids with autism– Teachercast
  11. Five early signs of autism-Neuroscience News
  12. 5 effective strategies for the inclusive classroom– KQED
  13. Preventing wandering: Resources for parents and first responders– Autism Speaks
  14. Why person-first language doesn’t always put the person first– Think Inclusive
  15. ABA- Teaching verbs to children with autism- About Education
  16. How journaling with my ASD son created a special life connection– Autism Parenting Magazine
  17. 25 fine motor activities using household items– Mama OT
  18. Why is occupational therapy important for children with autism?-Network Autism
  19. Temperature regulation: why does my autistic child refuse to wear a coat– Jeannie Davide-Rivera