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My Journey With Autism (sensory issues)

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My only Child (Alex) was diagnosed with autism at 3 (you can read my article about some early red flags), one of the signs was his hyper-sensitivity for sounds and lights and how much he likes certain textures and smells.

One good tip of advice is to be aware, to be creative and to be prepared.
Smell: he enjoys certain fragrances like lavender or citrus, and dislikes like everybody else rotten or foul smells the difference is that this bad smells could trigger an unusual behavior like flapping hands, running in circles or strong hugging to someone near him. Since I noticed this reaction to bad smells I always carry with me a marker with his favorite scent, this has helped a lot to calm him down in these situations.

Lights: he doesn't like bright lights or flashing lights, he prefers the dark but enjoys sunny days, his reaction is not bad, just turns off the lights or avoid the lights turning his head away from the source, our solution, dim lights, sunglasses.

Sounds: this is a major issue, That is is the first thing that called my attention, since he was a baby, as I wrote before he barely slept and when he slept everything woke him up, we were walking without shoes on our tippy-toes and he still woke up, when he was around two he had a huge meltdown/panic attack, it was a rainy night with thunder storms, the first he saw in his life first I thought it was the view of the thunders I hug him and close the windows and curtains but this didn't work he was getting more agitated then as an impulse I covered his ears with my hands then he started to relax and put his hands over mine, can you imagine my hands covering his little ears for 3 hours, next thunder storm I had ear plugs I thought I was prepared but after a few minutes he usually gets uncomfortable with them and he placed my hands over his ears so my recommendation, if you can afford it, would be replacing your windows with sound proof features prioritizing the ones in his bedroom, the ones we got had 3 layers of glass and this helped a lot in the next storm, I only changed the one in his room so this became his safe and/or comfort zone during a thunder storm, with this not only I avoid a meltdown but also I gain his trust which in my personal experience is a major issue. He needs to be aware that you want to help and sees you as someone who can try anything in order to help him, and next step is the process of desensitizing, (make him less sensitive) little by little, in his case; he didn't like to go to the washroom because when you turn on the lights the fan turns on as well, and the noise bothered him, first I installed a sensor light so the fan was off, this helped a lot with toilette training too. once he was okay with going to the washroom I started turning on the lights/fan when he was near it and telling him the use of the fan, that takes away bad smells and so on after over 200 repetitions he finally went to the washroom with the fan on, what a victory I felt, I have many examples on desensitizing work and I am still in the process and journey of helping Al.

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