4 Things That Are Difficult for Me as Someone With Sensory Issues

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Sensory issues are complex and often misunderstood. Sometimes people don’t understand how to respond to those of us with sensory issues. What might be obvious to someone is not always as obvious to everyone, which I’ve noticed as a person with sensory issues interacting with people who don’t have them. Here are the things that are difficult for me as a person with sensory issues:

1. Staying still: I’ve heard so many people say to me, “It’s OK! Just try to stay still.” The problem is, I cannot all of the sudden stay still. It takes a lot of calming before I’m able to discontinue flapping and shaking. 

2. Staying quiet: Although I’m sensitive to noise, it’s near impossible for me to stay quiet. Personally, I have extreme trouble with this. I feel that every time a noise suddenly erupts through the air or something suddenly touches me, I burst straight into a scream. For me it can be an unhealthy yet habitual reaction. 

3. Brightness: Once I had a class that took place in a bright orange room, and I found myself constantly attempting to escape it. Personally, any room colored orange is difficult to enter without also entering into a panic attack. Usually that is the case for bright rooms for me.

4. Public places: Imagine paying attention to a hundred conversations at the same time. For many, that might be “normal,” but for people with sensory issues, it can be a nightmare. Everything seems like a volcanic eruption. It is being pushed into unfamiliar faces, places, and everything jumbled together into one.

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To My Son as We Dance Through the Waves of Life Together

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In our lives together, as we ride the waves of appointments, phone calls, meltdowns, and care, I look at you — the beauty spot on your lip, the blue of your eyes. Your blond hair and the way a smile sneaks up so carefree. Your cheeks rising, and those dimples forming. Your smile is medicine to me. It is my raft.

Life can be exhausting at times. I have fears about the future. I have this need to make the world right for you. But I’d take it all, stress and tiredness a million times over, to have the privilege of being your Mummy.

Life can be unpredictable, like a storm or blizzard. But you dance in the blizzard. You shine through the clouds. You splash in the puddles and laugh.

I thought I’d have to be strong for you, but you lift me to my feet. We dance through the waves together.

The little boy who doesn’t speak with his voice but speaks with blue eyes filled with graceful strength.

I see you, my hero, for that is who you are.

Follow this journey on Nichola’s blog.

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Family Opens Gym for People on the Autism Spectrum

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A family with a son who has autism discovered how positively exercise affected their son and opened up a gym for those on the autism spectrum.

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Someone Asked My Son With Autism Why Eye Contact Is Hard

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“I am sad when people think I don’t like them.”

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I'm Autistic and Proud to Be Who I Am

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To me, being diagnosed with autism (originally Asperger’s) was the best thing in the world. If I could have had the diagnosis sooner, like around the age of 7 when my learning disabilities began to affect me, that would have been better. But since I cannot change that, the time the diagnosis did happen was at the right time in my life.

I was 18 years old and had just graduated high school. I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals during my senior year of high school because I didn’t want to be alive anymore. If I didn’t give myself a chance and ask to go into a hospital, I would have never found out why I am the way I am, and that is because I am autistic.

I look back at when I was contemplating suicide because I hated who I was and could never understand myself. I look back at my home life where I hated to be. What did I have? I felt like I had nothing I wanted to live for. But I knew I was born to help others, and I knew there had to be a reason I am who I was all my life. After two psychiatrists, I finally found one who on day two said, “You are on the autism spectrum.” My mom is a special education teacher and has had many boys in her class with Asperger’s but no girls. That night I looked up: Female Characteristics With Asperger’s Syndrome. The next morning my mom woke up at her regular time of 6 a.m. and I was up, wired, and wide awake ready to tell her awesome news. I showed her the paper of the characteristics. I screamed and jumped with excitement. This is me! This is who I am! This is why I do what I do and have no explanations!

My mom looked it over and understood I just found myself. From that day forward, I learned about myself and learned to understand aspects of myself and everything else. I studied body language, eye contact in the mirror, and learned more about myself. I needed to know and understand myself more to be confident in who I am as a person. I didn’t want to guess anymore. That year was one of the hardest and best years of my life. I had to fight the urge to want to die, had to stop self-harming, had to start lowering medications and had to figure myself out.

Without answers to my questions, I would not be where I am today: alive, confident and happy. My autism diagnosis is something I will always be proud to talk, advocate and educate others about. I am no longer afraid to talk about my past because it led to my future and where I stand today. Without understanding myself, I would have never understood why I am the way I am around large groups of people. I would have never seen the signs before a meltdown occurs. I would never keep ear buds with filters in case something is too loud for me to handle. I feel I wouldn’t have found someone I am in love with and who is in love with me without me understanding myself.

I am autistic, and I am proud to be who I am.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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A Tribute to Temple Grandin

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We’re so grateful for autism advocates like Temple Grandin.

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