Per Wikipedia, “Sensory processing is the neurological process that organizes sensation from one’s own body and the environment, thus making it possible to use the body effectively within the environment."
As a person with autism, you may experience challenges in one or more areas of sensory processing.
Here’s a video from Amythest Schaber, a young woman with autism.
Know Your Sensory Differences: Check to See Which Signs and Symptoms Apply to You
Low tolerance for certain lights or patterns
Difficulty detecting depths, tracking a moving target, indifference to some visual cues
Low tolerance for certain sounds, exaggerated startle responses to loud or sudden noises, difficulty filtering out background noises.
Lack of response or indifference to certain noises
Strong aversions to some smells
Failure to notice some strong smells
Strong food aversions
Lack of interest in some foods
Sensitivity to light touch, deep pressure, fabric textures, clothing labels, clothing fasteners, or temperature changes, or low pain tolerance
Indifference to temperature extremes, high pain tolerance
Easily feeling off balance
Failing to sense when the body is dangerously off balance
Low tolerance for movement, inaccurate perception of the position of body parts
Failure to notice movement, resulting in involuntary movement
source: Living Well on the Autism Spectrum, by Valerie L. Gaus, PhD
I’ve included quite a few resources and tips in that article – here’s a summary of the tips:
1.Learn about sensory processing disorder. Then take Dr. Sharon Heller’s sensory defensiveness test. Reflect on which type of sensory stimuli you struggle with most. Seek out an occupational therapist to evaluate your sensory needs.
2. Create A Sensory Toolkit. Bookmark the article, 26 Sensory Integration Tools For Meltdown Management, and check out her list of 26 tools. See if any of those would be helpful to you. Then go to my table (in the create a sensory toolkit section of this article), and add any items that are helpful to you.
3. Create a Sensory Diet Integrated Into Your Daily Schedule. Re-read my section about creating a sensory diet. Print out a copy (or copies) of Dr. Sharon Heller’s Daily Sensory Diet Schedule. Choose sensory processing activities that will help you get through stressful points in your day.
Your Brief List of Sensory Activities Self-Help Sites
A) Sensory Processing Disorder
Michele, the site author, is an occupational therapist. She put this site together inspired by her daughter’s struggle with sensory processing disorder.
Talk about comprehensive!
So that you don’t get overwhelmed – check out the site map, which outlines all the contents of the site.
B) If you haven’t already done so, pinpoint your particular sensory challenges with this checklist.
C) Go to Indiana University’s sensory integration tips page.
Now that you’ve identified particular areas you struggle with, design a sensory diet of sensory activities targeting those areas.
Caveat: this page, and most of the information I’ve found about sensory integration and autism seems to be written for children instead of adults.
However, the activities and strategies work just as well for adults.
The second half of the Indiana University sensory integration is full of sensory activities to help you.
D) If you learn better with videos, check out these how-to videos from A Sensory Life website.
Again, the videos are directed to parents working with their children, but the activities will work just as well for us adults.
What About Connecting the Mind and Body?
According to Asperger Experts, when you take care of your body’s sensory needs, ayou make the mind more available.
I hope you enjoy this list of sensory activities self-help sites. Please let me know if you find others you’d like me to include in this list!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."