As part of World Autism Awareness week 2021 we wrote a post for the Experimental Psychology department at the University of Oxford which explains a little bit more about what it means to have sensory processing difficulties and how that can impact on a person’s life.
Someone who knows first-hand what daily life is like with sensory processing issues is Emily, a member of our project team. She has Sensory Processing Disorder and is Autistic.
‘Sensory processing issues are a constant thing for me – my senses are ridiculously heightened at all times and totally out of my control. My mood can change so quickly if I become overwhelmed by something (e.g. loud noises, bright lights, strong scents, unexpected touch) as I cannot filter the information coming into my brain, and I cannot regulate my emotions or understand and label my own feelings. This means day-to-day it can be quite tiring being out in the world, and as a result, I’ve become very good at masking (hiding my true thoughts/feelings), and I can only really drop that mask when I am in a safe environment like my home. Both personally, and as a team, I think we feel that it’s very important to create awareness of sensory processing difficulties as they are a key part of what makes the world quite a disabling and uninviting place for autistic people.’
Sensory processing differences are part of what can make the world disabling for autistic people. Support often focuses on interventions for an individual rather than the interaction between them and their environment.
Want to learn more about Sensory Processing Difficulties?
Click here to find out more
Want to read more about our project?
Check out our article on the University of Oxford’s Website here