Many Individuals on the Spectrum deal with something that affects everything they do that may seem "different" from the rest of society. This is the sensitivity or inhibition of anywhere to one to five of the five senses that our brain processes on a daily basis that allows our brain to understand the world in relation to our body and our body in relation to the overall safety of the entire system that is our body.
Some background information. Everytime we hear, taste, feel, smell, and see something there is a sensory nerve that relays that message to our brain to process it and determine what that sensation is. Nuerotypical people brains have an inept ability that once a sense has been recognized and is deemed to be not a threat, shuts down the particular sensory nerves relaying this message in order for the brain to process other things that are deemed more important.
When it comes to those on the Spectrum, this ability has been disrupted somehow. It can be that the message is constantly relayed, either at the same rate, a stronger strength or even not relayed at all/barely relayed. The first two are what we come to know as sensory sensitivity and the later what is known as sensory inhibition. Now to give an anology, since analogies is probably one of the easiest ways for my mind to understand things thus make it the easiest way to describe things.
Think of a motion sensored light. This will be our sensory nerve. Movement that turns the light on could be anything pertaining to the five senses. Normally once a movement is noticed the light turns on, then after a while turns off knowing that either the threat or need for the light has left. However imagine a motion sensored light that blinks on and off everytime the slightest movement occured and it could not be turned off no matter what. It would be a non stop light show. That what its like for a person who has a same rate sensory sensitivity. Now imagine the same situation but 50x stronger. That how people with an stronger strength same rate sensory sensitivity feel everyday. Now imagine the motion sensored light only turned on when you moved one centimeter next to it if at all. Thats what a person with a sensory inhibition deals with daily.
I personally have a same rate sensory sensitivity to a couple of my senses. Mainly sound and smell. I learned very early on that if something bothered me that I should just leave the area and was fortunate enough to be able to do so growing up. This did cause me to misunderstand that these sensitivities I had were in fact only unique to me and that everybody else around me did not feel the way I did about those things. This misunderstanding comes from another aspect of being on the Spectrum, lack of communication skills in order to search if these oddities of my life experiance were shared universally.
I have been able to know some people with either a stronger strength same rate sensory sensitivity or sensory inhibition. I can say that even with a somewhat increased knowledge of whats going on, I can not begin to imagine anything close to what they might be going through on a daily basis and what it takes for them to just have a "good" day.
Would love some feedback on my analogy and if it makes sense or not.(NT)
Would love some feedback on my analogy and if it sounds correct with sensory sensitivities.(People on the Spectrum)
Mark Fleming- Person on the Autism Spectrum