Ann Memmott has written an article about Autism Basics, called “When ‘I’ll be back in five minutes’ isn’t true”. This literalism isn’t psychological, or controlling- it’s a brain wired for detail and accuracy, and trying to manage sensory overload. She gives good descriptions about what is happening in her brain and environment during (and after) those five minutes, and some alternative suggestions that might be more helpful when communicating with Autistic people.
Interesting article about self-injurious behaviours– what they are and why they occur.
Self injurious behaviors are not the same as self harm. I feel self harm is a much more concerning issue than SIBs because it encompasses emotional torment (although there is overlap of self harm and SIBs in some cases).
On a small scale, my SIBs are not that big a deal. I bite my fingers while trying to process phone calls. Under the table, my nails dig into my leg during a meeting. These acts are not a lack of control. I am exerting some small control over my surroundings. Often, I can’t avoid an overstimulating environment. Pain works as a filter. Enough pain, and the ambient noise dulls to a roar so that I may at least fake my way through a conversation without tears. These are minor acts that may result in a bruise or a little blood, but no real damage.
The best you support you can provide to someone with self injurious behaviors is an open mind. Don’t dismiss possible triggers. If someone communicates to you that an environment or activity is overwhelming, even if that communication is not speech, pay attention to them.
Many people with sensory issues find showering difficult. Shawna asked for suggestions on her Facebook page, and these are outlined in this post.
I am always thankful to the Autistic adults who share their insights and experience. Bec Oakley has shared what a meltdown feels like for her, in descriptive and easily-understandable language, and some tricks she’s learned to help her cope.
A frequently asked question on several of the ASD Facebook groups I’m on is about taking our children to the dentist. This article suggests several strategies- some obvious, some less so, but all worth a try!
One of the incredibly resourceful ladies I’ve had the privilege of “meeting” through Facebook has put together two very indepth resource guides that she is keen for people to share wherever they would be useful.
A Resource Guide & Ideas for Therapists, Teachers, Parents and Carers working with people with Special Needs- covers a multitude of topics, and is well worth checking out.
The Queensland Autism Parents Handbook is 101 pages and is a comprehensive guide to autism services, support, tips and ideas for Qld. The book is most relevant to Qld but is a valuable source of info wherever you live.
Getting “used to it”- how SPD affects me, by The Dreamer (Totally Abnormal blog).
Since I read a lot of blog posts related to Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), I have seen many people’s descriptions of what SPD is:
“The sensory sliders in my brain are all over the place.”
“My sensory cup is too big for some senses and too small for others.”
“Everything is multiplied for me.”
These are all good descriptions of SPD, but I wanted to think of a quick one. A simple one. One that would help people that had no prior knowledge of SPD know how oversensitivity feels.
I don’t get used to things.