Posts Tagged ‘stimming’

Sensory Issues with Autism

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Sensory sensitivity can lead to behavioural problems, difficulties with coordination, and many other issues for children with autism spectrum disorder.


A child with autism spectrum disorder will have marked difficulties managing sensory input, they may over-react to taste, touch, feel, light or noise.

Sometimes children with autism spectrum disorder use repetitive stereotypical movements and autistic behaviours such as stimming.  Many may feel the need to flick their fingers, bang their heads, even slam against furniture or twirl in circles, these autistic behaviours are due to sensory sensitivity, with the child with autism spectrum disorder being either hyper or hypo sensitive.

There is no outright cure for sensory sensitivity, but there are ways to help your child manage some of these difficulties.

Gather information about sensory sensitivity and how you can help your child with autism, for example: Children with hyperactive sensory systems will typically avoid activities that involve movement, while children that have hypoactive sensory systems will seek out activities that involve movement.

Therefore a child on the spectrum that with hyperactive sensory systems may hide under their covers, or bury their head into cushions, while a child on the spectrum with a hypoactive sensory systems may use stimming or repetitive stereotypical movements such as rocking or twirling.

Some children with autism may feel the need to continually flush the toilet, eat only one type of food, or continuously repeat themselves; these kinds of sensory difficulties can be eased using social skills stories.

Social skills stories are short descriptive pieces of text used to help the child with autism understand a behaviour or skill that they may be struggling with. Generally children with autism spectrum disorder are visual thinkers and learners which means they think in pictures.

Using this concept, social skills stories for autism are visual, using images and or pictures to describe the activity, behaviour or skill in a manner the child on the spectrum can understand.

Acting as a visual plan, framework of role made the social skills story answers the ever important “wh” questions, who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others.

Social skills stories for autism must be editable as no two children on the spectrum are ever the same and their abilities and needs will differ as with any child. Social skills stories need to be convenient to use therefore they should be printable, colourful and easy to personalize.

To find out more about how social skills stories for autism can be used to help with certain sensory difficulties in autistic children visit:

Other general everyday and school, social stories can be found at



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