Autism frequently comes with a slew of sensory issues that many people struggle to identify with. It is hard to understand just what the world looks like through someone else’s eyes to begin with, let alone someone who sees the world in a drastically different light. There was an amazing movie about a woman named Temple Grandin that really shows how the world can be viewed in pictures. She is an amazing woman with Autism who has been able to shed a lot of light on how people with Autism think differently. I highly recommend it – although the beginning is very difficult to watch as it shows her having meltdowns. I couldn’t watch it all in one sitting as it hit home a little too hard <3 But it shows that Autistic minds think differently and it can be amazing!
So as I was saying – there is a sensory piece to Autism that can be challenging. It can be that lights are bothersome, but only sometimes. It could be that sounds are troublesome, but only some sounds on certain occasions. Certain smells may cause physical pain or discomfort – but not consistently. This seemingly randomness can stress parents out because it makes it harder for us to figure out what is going on. My suggestion is – pick your battles.
- If your child wants the light off today – is it really necessary to keep it on?
- If you child wants you to stop using the mixer – can you use a quiet hand tool instead?
- If your child is reacting negatively to chemical cleaners – can’t you switch to a natural product or essential oil?
Which would you rather do, change the environment to help your child feel better, or force the environment and deal with pain and a meltdown? In my home, that means that I had to change the position of our rocking chairs.
I don’t know ‘why’ he doesn’t want a chair on either side of the table anymore. I can’t even begin to try and fathom a guess and this all came on suddenly after years of it being ‘okay’. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter why. He kept pulling the rocker away from it’s place and didn’t want it on the other side of the table. He would bring it to the front of the other one and promptly come to move it again if we tried to put it back. So I began to think of ways to compromise because it was not worth a fight. I put it next to the other one and he left it there. That placement is okay and he is happy now.
Think outside the box
Because having a calm home is important
For ALL who live there.