A new study has found that hypersensitivity to sound may be a marker for autism. The study found that children with autism were more likely to be hypersensitive to sound than typically developing children.
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What is hypersensitivity?
Hypersensitivity refers to an unusually strong reaction to a stimulus. In people with autism, hypersensitivity can manifest as an extreme reaction to certain sounds, tastes, smells, textures, or lights.
People with hypersensitivity may find certain sounds painfully loud, or they may be unable to tolerate certain smells or textures. Some people with autism may have such sensitive skin that they can only wear certain types of clothing.
Hypersensitivity can be a difficult symptom to manage because it can make everyday activities and situations painful or difficult. However, there are strategies that can help lessen the impact of hypersensitivity and make everyday life more manageable.
What are the symptoms of hypersensitivity?
Hypersensitivity refers to a heightened response to sensory input. This can manifest in a number of ways, including:
-Being highly sensitive to sound, touch, smell, or taste
-Having strong reactions to certain textures or fabrics
-Being oversensitive to bright lights or patterns
Some children with hypersensitivity may also have difficulty with transitions or changes in routine. They may become easily overwhelmed and overstimulated in busy or loud environments.
What causes hypersensitivity?
There is no one answer to this question as hypersensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors in autism. It is believed that hypersensitivity is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some research suggests that hypersensitivity may be caused by an imbalance in the brain chemical serotonin. Others believe that it may be due to a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. regardless of the cause, hypersensitivity can make everyday activities and social interactions very challenging for people with autism.
How is hypersensitivity diagnosed?
There is no one way to diagnose hypersensitivity in autism. Many professionals use a combination of interviews, observations, and tests.
Interviews are usually conducted with the parents or caregivers. The interviewer will ask about the child’s behavior and development. They may also ask about any medical conditions the child has.
Observations are usually done in a clinical setting. The clinician will watch the child interact with other people and their environment. They will look for signs of hypersensitivity.
Tests that may be done include:
-The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
-The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)
-The Gilliam Asperger’s Disorder Scale (GADS)
-The Childhood Asperger’s Disorder Test (CAST)
-The SEROTONIN Level Test
How is hypersensitivity treated?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the treatment of hypersensitivity will vary depending on the individual. Some people with autism may benefit from behavioral therapy, while others may find relief through the use of medications or other treatments. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to find the best treatment approach for your child.
What are the long-term effects of hypersensitivity?
Hypersensitivity is a condition that is often experienced by people with autism. It is characterized by an heightened sensitivity to certain stimuli, such as sound, touch, or light. People with hypersensitivity can often find everyday experiences overwhelming and may avoid certain situations as a result.
While the exact cause of hypersensitivity is unknown, it is believed to be linked to abnormalities in the brain. Hypersensitivity can have a range of effects on people with autism, both in the short and long term. In the short term, hypersensitivity can lead to increased anxiety and fearfulness. In the long term, it can lead to social isolation and depression.
There is currently no cure for hypersensitivity, but there are ways to manage its symptoms.Occupational therapists can help people with autism learn how to cope with their sensitivities and make everyday activities more manageable.
What are the risks of hypersensitivity?
Sensory processing difficulties are common in autism, and one type of difficulty that can occur is hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity refers to an unusually strong reaction to stimulus. People who are hypersensitive may react strongly to things that other people would not even notice, such as a particular smell or the feel of certain fabrics.
There are several types of hypersensitivity, and each can present differently. Auditory hypersensitivity, for example, may cause a person to cover their ears or become agitated when exposed to loud noises. Tactile hypersensitivity may cause a person to avoid certain textures or have a strong negative reaction if they are touched unexpectedly.
Hypersensitivity can have a significant impact on daily life, making it difficult to participate in activities or be around people or things that trigger strong reactions. In some cases, it can also lead to anxiety and social isolation.
What are the benefits of hypersensitivity?
When most people think of hypersensitivity, they think of it as a negative trait. However, there are actually some benefits to being hypersensitive. For example, people who are hypersensitive are often very empathetic and compassionate. They may also be very good at reading body language and understanding the emotions of others.
What are the challenges of hypersensitivity?
Most people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have hypersensitivity to certain sensory stimuli. This can manifest as a visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, or tactile response. People with ASD may also be hypersensitive to changes in their environment, such as lighting or temperature.
Hypersensitivity can be a challenge for people with ASD because it can make everyday activities and situations more difficult to handle. For example, a person with hypersensitivity to sound may have difficulty concentrate in class or at work if there is any background noise. A person with hypersensitivity to smell may have difficulty eating certain foods or being in certain places if there are strong odors present.
People with ASD often learn to cope with their hypersensitivity by avoiding situations that trigger their response or by using coping mechanisms such as earplugs or holding their breath. Some people with ASD may also take medication to help manage their hypersensitivity.
What is the future of hypersensitivity?
There is currently no cure for hypersensitivity in autism, but there are treatments that can help lessen the symptoms. In many cases, occupational therapy and other behavioral therapies can be effective in helping people with autism manage their hypersensitivity. Some people with autism may also benefit from medication, particularly if they have comorbid conditions such as anxiety or ADHD.
Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.