Sensory Hide & Seek.

There is no singular sensory profile that applies to all autistic people.

Autistic people often avoid and seek out different sensory experiences, given our individual sensory likes and dislikes. We are often hyper- and hypo-sensitive to our environments.

Autistic sensory perception of the world differs from a neurotypical perspective. As such, environments are felt and experienced differently for autistic people. We feel things NTS don’t feel. Some of these things we like, and some we don’t like.

Autistic people are often hypo- and hyper-sensitive to different sensory input. Some of us may be overall more hypersensitive, or overall more hypo-sensitive. Knowing our sensitivity level may help us prevent meltdowns & shutdowns, as well as reduce stress & anxiety.

Sensory-seeking autistic people are often under-sensitive in many (not all) of the 7 senses. We may use “big” stims, seek strong flavors and eat anything given, stare at bright lights, crash into things, tap objects, and enjoy lots of aromas.

Autistic people that tend toward sensory-seeking may accidentally overstimulate themselves. When we’re overwhelmed, we may opt for sensory input when we actually need a quiet place.

Sensory-avoidant autistic people are often hyper-sensitive to many (not all) of the 7 senses. We may cover our eyes and ears, wear the same clothes to avoid new smells, dislike being touched, take slow steps, hear things others don’t, gag from food tastes and textures, and enjoy gentle scents.

Autistic people that tend toward sensory-avoidance may accidentally under-stimulate themselves. The anxiety of overs-stimulation may lead to too much control of our environments, which causes restlessness, irritability, and a desire to escape.

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