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Олена Зеленська

How to help a person with autism avoid sensory overload

11.03.2022

Each person with autism has their own way of reacting to external stimuli, so there isn’t one universal recommendation.

If someone you know well has autism, you might be aware of the hyper- and hyposensitivities their nervous system possesses. Please be aware that due to constant stress, the nervous system might start processing sensory stimuli in abnormal ways, so people with sensory issues need to re-balance their nervous systems every day, better yet – several times a day.

Exercise such as squats or push-ups might help a person with ADS feel better about their body and reduce proprioceptive stress. Massage – squeezing and moderate pressure on all parts of the body with your hands, light stretching of the back, arms and legs, head massage with your fingers – will help the person regain a sense of themselves physically. If you can do so, fill a person’s backpack with something heavy and ask them to walk with it for at least an hour a day. Tight clothes will also be helpful.

You should try to find an individual approach to each individual person with autism.

Some people with autism might feel better after using soundproof earphones, while others might respond well to music, favorite colors, familiar food (if possible), special glasses or weighted vests.

When heading to the shelter, make sure you bring along a flashlight and a blanket or a large scarf, so that the person can make a makeshift fort and create a protective barrier between themselves and the crowded room.

You can also show them a special socal story or a rhymed story with pictograms.

* Recommendations provided by Anastasia Stepula, an expert on the peculiarities of communication with neurodivergent people

 

 

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