Many people on the autism spectrum are sensitive to certain stimuli, such as bright lights or loud noises. Sensory processing in autism can lead to sensory overload, which can make it difficult and stressful for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to handle certain situations. In this article, you’ll learn more about sensory processing in autism and tips on how to prevent sensory overload. 

Carebot ABA provides premier New Jersey behavioral therapy for children to foster skills and confidence to lead an empowered life. We offer a comprehensive range of children’s therapy options so your child can receive the right care to help them reach their greatest potential. Contact us today to learn more about how we can best support your child.

Sensory Differences on the Autism Spectrum 

Individuals on the autism spectrum are much more likely to experience sensory differences than individuals not on the spectrum. Many autistic individuals are either over-sensitive or under-sensitive to certain senses that can make everyday life more complicated and uncomfortable. For example, someone on the autism spectrum may be over-sensitive to bright lights; therefore, exposure to bright neon lights can cause stress, anxiety, and even pain to that individual.
It’s important to understand that people with ASD experience varying degrees of sensory differences. For example, what may bring anxiety or sensory overload to one individual may not to another. Therefore, learning about an individual’s unique sensory differences is important so you can avoid certain places or situations that may bring stress or anxiety. 

4 Tips on How to Prevent Sensory Overload

People on the autism spectrum experience senses differently. Some individuals may be over-sensitive or under-sensitive to a wide range of senses. Below are four tips to help prevent sensory overload and stress. 

  1. Consider Your Environment

First, carefully consider your environment and ensure it’s a sensory-friendly space. For example, if you know your child is hypersensitive to loud noises or bright lights, be sure to avoid settings that involve those stimuli. 

  1. Encourage Your Child to Speak Up

Sometimes, you won’t know all of what your child is or is not sensitive to unless they speak up. Therefore, encourage your child to speak up or look for signs your child may be experiencing sensory overload. For example, if you notice your child covering their ears or acting anxious around certain stimuli, chances are they are hypersensitive to that place/ situation. 

  1. Maintain a Sense Of Routine or Structure

Identifying what situations and settings trigger sensory overload in your child is great because it allows you to then build a sense of routine and structure to avoid those triggers. For example, your child’s day-to-day routine may look like staying in spaces that are sensory-friendly. Maintaining a predictable and stable routine can help keep sensory overload at ease and reduce any additional stress or anxiety in your child. 

  1. Understand Different Triggers & Preferences

Around 1 in 36 children has been identified as being on the autism spectrum, according to the CDC. Not all children with autism will experience the same triggers or preferences. It’s important to identify and understand your child’s unique triggers and preferences. Some children with autism may be hypersensitive to loud noises or bright lights, while other children may not be harmed by those stimuli. It’s critical you learn about your child’s unique triggers so you can create a more comfortable space and routine for them. 

Leading Care for Children with Autism 

Being sensitive to certain senses and stimuli is very common in individuals on the autism spectrum. Because certain stimuli can be extremely overwhelming, it’s important to promote being in sensory-friendly places and understand your child’s unique sensory triggers. At Carebot ABA, we provide tailored support for children with autism so they can feel confident and empowered in their lives. We offer a range of therapies, including ABA therapy and occupational therapy, so your child can foster the skills they need to achieve their fullest potential. Contact us to learn how we can help build your child’s self-confidence today.