By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
Recent statistics indicate that 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum; however autistics are not the only ones who experience sensory overload.
It is very likely that you know someone professionally, in your social group, or in your family who is neuro-sensitive. Sensitives can be autistic or neuro-typical (without autism). Over the years in my practice I have seen many children and adults who are neuro-sensitive. As their prevalence increases, so does their sensory awareness and responsiveness.
There is much speculation as to why there are more individuals who experience the world in this way. It could be evolutionary, neurological or the additives, drugs and pesticides in our food network.
Regardless of the cause, with the increasing number of individuals affected, there is a responsibility to learn how to best support Sensitives. There are a number of traditional approaches provided by occupational therapists, behaviorists, and speech and language therapists. There are also less-conventional approaches. I wrote about these in Setting Boundaries and Energy Cleansing.
You are encouraged to increase your awareness of the many situations that can create difficulties for the neuro-sensitives in your life so that you can support that individual or help to bring about systems change.
Kids spend the majority of their day in these environments for twelve or more years. We can reduce their sensory impact and ease their experiences.
LIGHT SENSITIVITY: Fluorescent lighting creates visual and auditory challenges. Highly sensitive individuals are bothered by the pulsations that fluorescents emit, as well as the sound from light ballasts. Light sensitivity can also affect reading: ease, accuracy, memory, concentration, and comprehension. Using natural or incandescent lighting in schools and at home can increase your child’s relaxation, reading skills, and even their willingness to do homework.
RECESS AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Weak muscle tone and poor coordination increase the likelihood that sports and team activities may not be [Read more…]