People with autism struggle to integrate their senses and many of their behaviours represent their attempt to compensate for the sensory “muddle” in which they live. At times input may be overwhelming and they experience overload and meltdown. This experience is described very well by Carly Fleishmann (see inspiration – videos page)
When Josh has pain he jumps repeatedly. This is potentially harmful to his joints and so it has been an asset to have this specialized sports flooring. It has the advantages of looking good whilst its customized cushioning reduces the impact on the skeletal system.
Joshua finds heat hard to tolerate. This air conditioner unit was selected because its mode of operation is virtually silent. A noisy machine would challenge his auditory sensitivity.
We needed a clock with a silent sweep in order not to offend his auditory sensitivity.
Sleep hygiene is very important. Josh is encouraged to wind down at the end of the day by darkening his room and playing calming music. There is a lamp with soft lightning near the bed which he can operate at will but the bright, central light can be controlled by this override switch which is located outside his room.
Digital Time Switch
The security lights need to be on a time switch and the one chosen is digital and therefore silent. This will avoid uncomfortable auditory stimulation for Josh.
Although strictly speaking these are not sensory-specific, they are useful to know about. We have had two casualties caused by the sharp corners of kitchen hoods meeting chefs heads!
When Josh has pain, he finds eating crunchy food comforting; jumping also provides some relief. This behaviour poses a choking threat and so we have this device available in the bungalow as well as a second kit which is kept in the car. To see a demonstration video Click here.
Pain and sensory challenge can render Josh house-bound. At such times, we want to bring the world to him. This machine enables him to access a whole range of audio-visual experiences ranging from “Blue Planet” to ski jumping to classical concerts. An added bonus is that it is voice-activated to encourage vocalization.
Gigantic Piano Keyboard Playmat
This provides a novel way of making music by stepping on the keys. It provides an opportunity for exercise, enhances coordination and provides auditory gratification.
This attractive suspended chair provides excellent vestibular input. The specialised suspensory device enables it to support a weight of about 200kg. https://www.simplyhammocks.co.uk/
Many people, especially those who have autism, can be driven to a meltdown by extreme and ongoing pain. Joshua has typed that during these times he feels disembodied and may be driven to bang his head against the wall. Canvases like this are stretched over a wooden frame and are hollow inside. We have filled this space with padding. This provides safety in an attractive and dignified manner.
This is a masterly collection of invaluable information for all those who support Josh. It contains pages of “What To Do” in case of every eventuality as well as background information, household administration, training, policies and procedures, essential phone numbers etc. It is a living document and is modified and updated regularly.