Autism Spectrum Disorders and Sensory Differences...
There is a link, BUT there is a big misconception.
Written By: Angie Voss, OTR
Important Tips to Consider and Share with Others
- A child who has sensory challenges and processing difficulty, does NOT necessarily have an autism spectrum disorder.
- Sensory challenges and differences can stand alone.
- Most, if not all, children with an autism spectrum disorder DO have sensory challenges, this is the root to many of the difficulties for one with autism. But this is not a two-way street.
- Just because a child has sensory challenges, does not mean you automatically need to think autism.
- Lack of eye contact is a sign of sensory dysregulation, not an assumed characteristic of autism.
- Hand flapping and toe walking are sensory signals, not assumed traits of autism.
- Lining things up and watching spinning objects are sensory signals, not assumed traits of autism.
- Sensory processing and the ability to self-regulate are the foundations and root to all development...most if not all children with autism have challenges in these areas.
- Autism spectrum disorder involves much more than sensory processing challenges, and jumping to the conclusion of autism is not fair to the child. Not because of the actual diagnosis, but because the focus of treatment may not emphasize sensory integration.
- Not all doctors understand sensory processing and sensory integration, always get a second opinion and even a third.
- Sensory based intervention is essential for both children with autism and sensory processing challenges, and the key to overall success is a team of professionals who support this theory. Educate yourself about sensory integration and sensory based intervention. This website will help you get there along with Understanding Your Child's Sensory Signals.
- Follow your gut, always. If you feel your child has been diagnosed incorrectly, do something about it.