Hello, I’m Rebekah, and I am an Autism Blogger. This is the second of three posts Lydia’s asked me to write. (Read part one here.) In this one, I wanted to talk a little bit about how sensory processing disorder affects me personally.
Like I’ve mentioned before, autistic people can be both hypersensitive and hyposensitive to sensory input. While I suffer with both to some degree, and it can fluctuate depending on the day, I’m definitely more oversensitive to sensory input than under sensitive.
As sensory sensitivities affect all senses, I could sit here for days writing about all the ways it affected me. However, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’m going to keep this short and only focus on the things that affect me the most.
I’d say my diet is the thing most affected by my sensory processing disorder. You could say that I’m just a fussy eater, but in my opinion, my restrictive diet goes beyond that. If something with overpowering flavours—or more than one flavour in a food—enters my mouth, I can become nauseated, and physically gag on the food.
There’s a stereotype you might’ve heard of, that autistic people will choose food based on colour. While I wouldn’t say my diet consists completely of one colour of foods, most it consists of beige foods. Bland and flavourless, I know I can tolerate these foods without an adverse reaction. It’s restrictive and sticking to such a diet can often make food more of a battle than something to enjoy, but I’ve been living with it my whole life so I’ve kind of gotten used to it now.
Another sensory sensitivity I suffer from a lot is touch. Certain textures can feel like knives on my skin, like velvet. Even mentioning it makes me cringe. On the other hand, my hypersensitivity means other textures feel amazing.
This can make it more difficult when it comes to clothes shopping because I can’t tolerate every kind of material. I usually stick to real denim jeans instead of the ‘jegging’ material, and search for cotton and polyester on my top half, as I know this is virtually all I can tolerate.
The final sensory sensitivity I’m going to mention in this blog post is my struggle dealing with certain sounds. I find it difficult to stand certain sounds—even things that others can tolerate just fine can feel like nails on a chalkboard to me! I also find it difficult to deal with super loud noises, like crowds, because I can’t filter out background noise. It makes listening to my lecturers difficult sometimes, that’s for sure!
Thanks again to Lydia for allowing me to share my sensory sensitivities related to autism with the readers of her blog and thank you to those who have taken the time to read this post. I’ll see you again soon with my third and final instalment of this series.
Note: this is a guest post, the work of Rebekah Gillian. This post is not intended to inform choices made about medical care; that is your responsibility. For more information, read more of the disclaimer.