Kids having autism sensory overload, usually face challenges in their daily activities like school functions and play dates. Extreme sensitivity to touch, noise, bright lights, crowds, and textures, are often overwhelming to kids having sensory issues and can ruin their lives and that of their parents. Some of the symptoms are often very severe and interferes in their daily functioning. It’s also known as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and is common among children with autism.
If your child has sensory issues, it’s important to know the triggers beforehand and minimize the meltdown.
Children who are hypersensitive to noise, should be given a quiet and peaceful place in home where they can retreat whenever they feel overwhelmed and need a break. For children who are older, it often helps if they are given a stopwatch or timer to know when exactly a bothersome activity will end.
Many children with autism are extremely sensitive to some types of clothing. Their skin is oversensitive and they prefer wearing particular types of clothes over and over again. Scan his/her wardrobe to determine the clothes they like and the ones they don’t. As a parent, you have to be your child’s advocate by explaining to others about sensory problems and how they can contribute to minimize your child’s stress.
You can keep some small kits to deal with autism sensory overload. Such kits ideally contain ear plugs to cut off noise, sensory fidgets to keep the hands busy and sticky notes that are used to cover the sensors in automatic washrooms and hand driers. A music player with headphones or books for older children can also help to reduce autism sensory overload.
You may also want to include some headphones and a music player with their favorite music or a book for older kids. Staying ahead of your child’s sensory sensitivities by being prepared can go a long way in minimizing distress.