To promote our sensory differences—and by extension a greater understanding of autism—we are asking a weekly question on Sunday about your sensory experience. We are calling it Sensory Sunday. Here is last week’s question:
This week we have another twofold question:
What do you use to regulate your sensory input?
What do you do to prevent sensory overload?
Corners of eyes
Natalie is working on a post explaining the enhanced perceptual functioning model of autism, and she discovered something fascinating. What we learned is we (autistic people) look from the sides of our eyes even as babies, as a way to regulate our sensory input. It fascinates me that even as we are babies, we are looking for strategies to deal with an immense amount of sensory input!
It also makes me wonder if we still use our peripheral vision as a coping mechanism. Today as I was walking our dog, Pluto, I realized I might indeed shift my focus to peripheral vision as a way to lessen the amount of visual information I have to process. Because especially in stores, I tend to get overstimulated by the amount of detail. So obviously sensory overload still occurs, despite the use of methods to diminish the amount of sensory information that comes in. But it makes sense we would still use this technique, although perhaps in a less obvious way than we did as children. Because if the coping mechanism helped even slightly, why would we stop doing it? Every bit to prevent sensory overload or better regulate ourselves helps.
What are your coping mechanisms,
and what do you do to control your sensory input?
To explore the whole Sensory Sunday series,
have a look at the Sensory Sunday index: