This week’s video is one of my MOST REQUESTED topics. SPD – Sensory Processing Differences / Sensory Processing Disorder
Lyric Rivera, an Autistic self-advocate from Texas, runs the the internationally recognized neurodiversity lifestyle blog Neurodivergent Rebel. Neurodivergent Rebel was opened in 2016, as a way to introduce people unfamiliar with autism to neurodiversity. The blog, which is sometimes released in written format and also via YouTube video, explores the ideology of neurodiversity and the creative expressions of autistic people. Riveras’ blog pushes for acceptance of neurological differences and respect for the autonomy of neurodivergent people. Lyric is also known as the pioneer of the #AskingAutistics hashtag, which is often accompanied by a short question about everyday autistic experiences. This simple hashtag connects neurodiverse people who would not otherwise have a reason to engage with each other to foster understanding of the autistic experience. View all posts by Lyric Holmans
16 thoughts on “SPD – Sensory Processing Differences / Sensory Processing Disorder”
Great look at the differences in ways people experience sensory input. Do you think medications can help with this? We are struggling with prescribed medications that always seem to have the opposite of the intended effect and make this worse.
It seems medications don’t impact autistic people’s minds the way they impact NT minds. I know this is true for me, so I avoid them. Side effects are always an issue for me.
Just a short comment on a disturbing trend — posting videos or podcasts, but no text transcript. Since it’s likely that the script was written before the video was created, it would take little extra effort to provide a transcript. There’s a bit of irony here since I do have some sensory processing problems, plus auditory processing disorder, which means I have difficulty getting full value from audio and visual media. I know I’m not alone in preferring text, since this has been discussed in various ASD blogs, and in a forum I participate in. So, although your video looks cute, I’m not willing to spend 10 minutes watching you be cute and trying to keep track of what you’re actually trying to say when I could read the essentials in 2 or 3 minutes at the most. (And I’m now wondering if you actually did this off-the-cuff, which would make it even more difficult to follow.)
Thank you. I did not write a script before posting this. I generally have bullet points I need to hit and that is all. I am one person who also works full-time and I’m honestly barely even keeping up with one blog post a month and my social media. I need help but I can’t afford to hire someone to do the transcripts if I didn’t have a full-time job I love to take it on myself. If you go to YouTube you can View auto captions. I have it set up to where community members can add captions for me if anyone is available. If you know anyone who’s willing to help for free please send them my way. But I’ve looked into it and I cannot afford to hire someone.
Lost a bit of sleep over this last night reached out to the community and we might have someone doing or captions moving forward however they won’t be up right away because it’s a volunteer and they will need to edit after I get my video app so it might take a couple days but moving forward I should have a partner helping me with captions. I’m so grateful. Thank you.
I’d be happy to help out with transcription.
In a groundbreaking new study from UC San Francisco, researchers have found that children affected with SPD have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other neurodevelopmental disorders.
This was so brilliant. I refuse to think of anything my brain or body does, is disorderly because even though it’s painful- there are ways to help structure my day so I don’t get overwhelmed (mostly in school). There have been a few times though where it has been unbearable. I think I mentioned in a previous blog of mine (Grassroots Challenge one) about a youth meeting I attended- the colour of the carpet. OMG it was awful and made me really ill – it was a miracle I contributed anything to the discussion at that meeting. Bright patterns and colours have a really bad affect on me, that’s why I love nature so much – colours are muted, even on colourful birds. I love punk music, it drowns everything out and I add an intense amount of black pepper and chilli flakes to my food. People find that funny! Thanks for all your videos, I have no problem watching them at all!
Thanks for your vídeos and messages. Can you say something about the space orientation sense? Love from Barcelona
I agree that it’s really interesting to think about the diversity of sensory processing, whether it’s between neurodivergent and neurotypical people, between people with sensory disabilities and those with none, between people and other animals, or just the natural variation that occurs from one individual to the next.
For instance, I realised when I was doing an introductory philosophy course several years ago that sight typically has preeminence among our senses (if we’re sighted): most people think of the world as existing in some sort of seen way. But I don’t think I ever came to an understanding of why that should be the case.
As for my own sensory processing issues, one of them is very similar to one of yours. I tend to find background speech overwhelming and for that reason find it extremely difficult to concentrate on conversations or even to ‘hear’ what other people are saying to me in noisy environments. (I don’t know whether that’s exacerbated by my social awkwardness, or if it perhaps feeds into it.)
Other sensory processing differences that I have include issues with objects made of very dense material (so they are much heavier than they look). Having had recurrent unpleasant sensations when holding things like pendulum-clock weights as a child, I’m actually quite nervous of things like that now. I also have fairly similar, pit-of-the-stomach, sensations when I do repetitive manual activities (things like stirring something). I hadn’t really thought about these as sensory processing issues until now, but perhaps they are (or maybe they’re not?).
Oh, and having just seen Dara’s comment on carpet colours, I’m reminded of the floor of a lecture theatre at my university which was given a lurid green (?) rubberised treatment, and I felt sure that it was bound to make everyone feel ill during lectures. (Fortunately, I didn’t have to go to too many lectures there!)
Thanks for starting this conversation!
The lights in most supermarkets/malls are giving me a headache sometimes within minutes, depending on whether I’m well rested or not. But it is always uncomfortable. I’m also highly sensitive to sounds and get easily scared if someone closes a cupboard next to me with just a little too much force.. or the sounds of cutlery can be really irritating. I mostly use headphones to watch things or listen to music and even if I wear them and listen to loud music, I’m often still able to hear conversations from down the street, when the window is open. I also hear hummings/buzzings from lights/machines and it drives me crazy that most people cannot hear them, while it’s getting on my nerves sitting under a buzzing lightbulb…. This sounds rather negative, but the higher sensitivity is also something really precious to me. Especially when it comes to smelling things. A nice smell can make my day, while some scents, especially heavy perfumes can give me headaches. Right now all the colours of spring and the beautiful scents are making me so happy. Next to our house is an old robinia and it smells like heaven, when I’m in the kitchen and have the window open. As you said it is a complex topic. I was just thinkng about blogging about it this morning. I express my different perceptions in my poetry, but sometimes it is easier for neurotypical people if you just describe it.
My visual and auditory systems are my most sensitive, to the point of being painful and excruciating. I have a low threshold for all of my senses, but those two are the lowest. This really affects my life and causes a lot of suffering. It’s exhausting. I also can’t handle filing my nails or even seeing/hearing someone doing that can send me over the edge on a particularly sensitive day.
Filing my nails is one I’ve never been able to handle. Brushing my teeth is hard but I CAN do it (not the full recommended time) with an electric toothbrush
I prefer an electric toothbrush too. Ugh, hate having to brush my teeth!