Often, sensory sensitivities in children with autism cause very young children to protect themselves from what they, because of their heightened sensory sensitivity, perceive as excessive stimulation. This is especially true when that perceived excessive stimulation comes from other people, even if those other people are the autistic child’s parents or caregivers.
Maybe the child on the autism spectrum turns away from touch, sound, bold colors or patterns, strong smells or tastes. Maybe it’s only interpersonal intimacy that the child turns away from. On page 14 of Engaging Autism: Using the Floortime Approach to Help Children Relate, Communicate, and Think, Dr. Greenspan and Dr. Wieder write that “studies are showing that many children with autism can be very emotional but become so overwhelmed by their feelings that they avoid contact.”
Children on the autism spectrum with sensory sensitivities close off their potential ability for expressive action and meaningful language as they deal with this perceived onslaught of the sensory environment around them and the chaos of their inner world. But, and this should give hope to parents of children with autism, they can and have been persuaded to join their parents’ people world when they feel understood and protected.
Children with autism have sensory sensitivities. Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime Approach can help.
Parents, please remember that your child’s autism diagnosis is dynamic not static! There is hope!
Learn more about Dr. Stanley Greenspan and the Greenspan Floortime approach. If you are new, we have a background and introduction to Greenspan Floortime including how it helps special needs children. We also have Greenspan Floortime training courses at Floortime U. specifically designed for parents and professionals including the Floortime Manual.