Continuing our occasional theme of listening to the advice of college students who have “been there and done that,” please join me in listening to recommendations provided by four graduates of Marshall University.
Bradley, Nathan, Stephen, and Brian, each 2013 graduates of the university, responded to questions about personal goals, their experience with support programs, what they liked about campus, etc. But it is the final question I’d like to focus on for this essay.
What advice would you give the freshman “you,” if you could talk with your younger self prior to entering college?
For many with Autism a fear of driving stems from anxiety that can result from being pulled over by an officer of the law. In some cases, fear of just that very scenario is the reason many never pursue obtaining their driver’s license.
Good communication skills and actions are key to making an already stressful situation go without incident for anyone, but with the diagnosis of autism, Aspergers, or speech impediments misinterpretation is almost a certainty. Dr. Louise O’Donnell, who specializes in Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio Texas, offers suggestions to make a ‘pull-over’ go without incident.
First, let’s have sensory processing disorder explained by someone with a personal experience with it. Watch this video of Amythest Schaber, a person living with an autism spectrum disorder.
Differences in auditory processing are one of the more commonly reported sensory processing impairments. In one chart review of developmental patterns in 200 cases with autism 100% of the participants demonstrated difficulties with auditory responding.
Heather smiles gently as she watches the video about a celebration in Africa. To be fascinated by something means that it captures your imagination and you want to give it your full attention. Heather leans forward (always a sign of interest) towards the TV screen.
She stares intently at the screen, following the action with her eyes. Active thinking is a central part of fascination. We can see thinking going on in the way she strokes her lip with her little finger. We get the sense that she is ‘in the moment’, giving her complete attention to the screen.
In a split second when she’s intensely interested her eyes close a little and then widen. If you look carefully you will also see an intake of breath.
In the last blog we looked at more than one emotion on the face (Disbelief/Irritation). This week one overwhelming and strong emotion is showing through: discomfort.
Benjamin is watching a somewhat controversial TV ad and although he sits quite still we can see several signs which point to his discomfort.
He takes a deep breath and quickly shifts the direction of his gaze, attempting not to focus too sharply on what he’s been asked to watch. He breathes out and closes his eyes for a second (too long to be a blink) in an effort to shut out the scene on the TV.
When we look at something which we find disturbing (or even think of something we find uncomfortable) we often close our eyes, as if that will give us a moment of respite.
Benjamin continues watching, but with a blank stare, his mouth tightly closed.
This edition of Top of The Spectrum News looks into the potential sensory overload at school that is often associated with Asperger’s Syndrome. A classroom teacher discusses how these issues may impede classroom performance.