This video was shot on August 9, 2021 and released to Patreon Subscribers, Facebook Supporters, and YouTube channel members on August 12, 2021, as a thanks for the support you give my blog. The video’s public release is set for September 1, 2021.
Hey humans Lyric here. I’m a non-binary pale-skinned human with green, yellow, and purple hair that has shaved sides and the undercut is purple and teal right now.
I am holding a rainbow pastel stuffed fluffy dog that is fairly large, clasped to my chest. I am petting him, because he is nice and soft. This week I’m going to talk about being Autistic and sensory seeking, and my experience with that as an Autistic Person. If you are curious at all about sensory stuff, please stay tuned as we dive in.
As we dive in and talk about sensory seeking it’s first important to point out that this is going to be around all of the senses. So we’ve got the sense of touch, the sense of sound, hearing, sight, smell, taste, feeling your body in motion in space, and your sense of balance. These are all senses that are affected by sensory processing.
In Autistic People, our senses seem to be either heightened, where we are more sensitive to certain things, or less sensitive to certain things. For example, I tend to be a lot less sensitive to pain than other people, but some Autistic People may be more sensitive to pain.
I also struggle to regulate temperature and I’m really sensitive to temperatures. I struggle with other senses, such as lighting. Lighting is a big one for . Fluorescent lighting, actually, if I spend too much time around, it will give me migraines, seizures and other physical health problems. So lighting as a sense I avoid.
However, I am a very tactile seek-ie person, and though there are certain kinds of clothes that if I wear it, it feels like fire ants are biting my skin, I often will seek out soft, fluffy thing, and enjoy sensory seeking with something that is soft and enjoyable.
This dog is soft and enjoyable because one he’s tactile, two it’s something I can squeeze to my chest and feel snugness with. Then also he’s full of beans.
Very soft, relaxing noise. When I squeezed him.
My senses are a bit paradoxical sometimes. I often will not be able to tolerate sounds that other people are in control of or are making, but I, myself can be a very loud and obnoxious human. I constantly will fill the room with sounds, talking and singing to myself. If I am finding myself in silence or I will maybe jump up and spin around and move.
When I was a young person, this could look like me bouncing off of sofas and climbing on top of furniture, to seek the sense of movement and feeling my body in motion.
I really like roller coasters. Some Autistic People can not handle carnival rides and get motion sickness.
I don’t tend to be that Autistic Person most of the time. I seek out that viewing that gives a lot of people, emotion sickness, and it feels fantastic to me.
All of this sensory seeking has very practical applications. For example, I sometimes feel as if my senses are not working the way they should. My hands can feel very far away, and I can feel a bit disconnected from my body, and discombobulated and out of sorts, for lack of a better word.
I get this feeling that everything and everyone is so far away and being in touch with my senses, sitting here and, you know, stimming. stroking this ear of this dog with my finger, and feeling the tactile sense, keeps me a bit more grounded and aware of my body so that it doesn’t seem so far away.
If I am struggling emotionally or I am not mentally in a good space. That I want to be in. I can intentionally put on some music and listen to music, sing along to music, dance along to music, put on my roller skates, and spin and spin, and spin in circles for hours, or even just a few minutes, getting lost in the sensory experience, and getting myself out of my own head.
Really, if it’s even just five minutes, it can be so helpful, because I am someone who can also be very obsessive. I can struggle to let things go. It’s nice to have something that I know I can turn to, if I’m spiraling, and stuck in my own head, I need to get out of it. And it’s like, oh, let’s engage in some sensory seeking.
The sensory seeking, like holding a stim toy under the table or sharing David, the dog with you. I named him after David, my partner, because David gave me David, the dog, uh, sharing this with you and bringing David here that David, the dog here, this is weird.
This is a mild sensory input. Whereas if I was more anxious, more amped up, and more stressed out, I might want more intense sensory seeking, going for a run, or going for a swim, jumping in a lake, depending on how much relief I need at the given moment.
Something else I have noticed about myself since I learned, I was Autistic, almost five years ago, and have started to allow myself more sensory seeking, and actually intentionally adding more sensory experiences that recharge and invigorates me, in my life is I feel a lot more balanced in my mind, body energy, for lack of a better way to explain that.
When I am dysregulated, it feels like there is just too much energy flowing through me, and my body can’t handle it when my brain is overcharged, and my body hasn’t been moving and I’ve been sitting in a desk for eight to 12 hours every day and I don’t ever move.
It’s like if you’re overcharging an electronic device, I imagine I am an overcharged electronic device or something, and I need to go out and physically move to get some of that energy out.
Yeah. I got to go do it. I got to move. Now that I’ve been doing that a lot more, I feel a lot better.
I sleep better. My health is better. A lot of things in my life are a lot better now that I’m being a lot more intentional, and adding more motion and positive kinds of sensory input into my day.
Another thing I’ve noticed with that is I actually stim less.
Not that stimming is a bad thing, so there’s nothing wrong with stimming. It’s how my body responds to having extra energy in my body.
So if I’m excited, I’m more excited. I’m going to move more if I have more energy in my body, if I am having less energy in my body, because I’m getting extra energy out more regularly, my body is just a lot more still, unless I happen to get a burst of energy.
Maybe I get a little burst of nerves. I get a little anxious, or I get some surprise, and I get a little anxious about that, or maybe something awesome happens and I get some energy and I get stimmy, stimmy, stimmy, stimmy, stimmy. That is because the energy level went up.
Before, when I just wasn’t really well-regulated. There was just a lot of extra static floating around, extra energy I wasn’t burning off, and sensory seeking is really been helpful for me, personally, with that.
Okay. Humans, this week, we talked about sensory seeking. I am thinking about doing sensory avoiding for next week.
So stay tuned because now that I’ve said it, I’m pretty sure I have to do it, so we’ll talk about sensory avoidance next week.
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