Autism and the heatwave.

Many people with Autism have difficulties processing sensory information.
They have difficulties processing the information correctly.
The information gets lost, or diverted the wrong way, causing problems with sensitivity.
It can change, and fluctuate, between being over sensitive, under sensitive, or both at the same time.
When a person struggles to process sensory information, they can experience sensory overload.
The result? Challenging behaviours, or meltdowns.

Something my child is struggling with at the moment is the heat.
She absolutely hates it.
She would rather be out in the snow in her swimsuit!
Her body is not good at temperature regulation so she doesn’t show the usual signs of being too hot, and can overheat more quickly.
She often feels faint even entering, and leaving, a swimming pool or a bath, amd has to sit until her body adjusts.
Like us all, it changes her mood and increases irritability.
Anxiety is raised as she cannot control external stimuli.
We are all tired and grumpy as sleeping in this heat is unbareable!

A child with sensory difficulties also may struggle with choosing appropriate clothing for the temperature.
Autism and literal thinking are also part of the spectrum, hence why my girl thinks putting a coat on will cool her down!
If the sun can’t touch her skin, she can’t get hot!

Whilst the UK is currently experiencing a heatwave, take time to remind your childs carers to be observant for heatstroke.
Encourage cool, thin clothing.
Promote drinks as much as possible, my girl will go for hours without drinking if I didn’t remind her.
Chose outdoor play in the shade.
If your child can tolerate suncream, choose a high factor due to skin sensitivity.

Remember, it isn’t just the heat.
Although tolerating its warm rays on your skin is very difficult, coping with it being so bright also increases difficulties.
My girl hates bright lights, and in overload she will lose her sight completely for a short amount of time. Sunglasses would help but she cannot tolerate wearing anything on her face.

Meltdowns may be imminent…..


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