Sense of Smell

Many autistic people avoid certain “typical” smells that autistic people don’t seem to mind. But then, at the same time, we may also actively seek scents that appeal to us greatly. In fact, some scents may help us regulate from sensory overload.

Smell (n.)
The use of the nose to recognize the odor quality of something. Also known as the Olfactory Sense.

Exploring Smell through Stims:
-Spraying fragrances onto handkerchiefs & face masks
-Using essential oil diffusers & candles
-Scented dough fidgets 
-Writing with scented pens & markers
-Decorating with fresh flowers like lavender, rose, and lilac

Even more, autistic people sometimes combine the senses of smell with taste for a multi-sensory experience. Cooking with fragrant spices like cumin, cinnamon, matcha, and sage can amplify the sensory experience of a meal. Cinnamon and mint gum provides ample sensory input. Also, tea, wine, and dark chocolate are known for their fragrant taste experience.

Strategies for Smell Sensory Overload:
-Using a travel diffuser with a preferred scent to negate an undesirable environmental smell 
-Wearing the same sets of clothes
-Sniffing the crook of the elbow to reset the nose
-Trying a neti-pot 
-Smelling coffee beans
-Wearing a clean face mask

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