Autism usually entails sensory issues in teens, but sensory issues in teens doesn’t always entail autism–or so we’ve always thought. A recent study has connected the two on a deeper level than ever before.
This type of information can lead to better treatments, procedures, and further studies into how to best help teens struggling with sensory issues and/or autism.
How sensory issues in teens are linked to autism
Surface level, autism and synaesthesia (sensory sensitivity) may seem to be completely different. Autism is associated with difficulties in communicating and understanding social cues, sensory issues in teens is often thought to be a nuisance; synaesthesia is characterized by a merging of the senses, such as colors or words triggering tastes, it’s often thought to be a blessing. But the two seem to be deeply linked.
Those with autism frequently deal with sensory issues. In a study conducted by Sussex and the University of Cambridge, researchers found that those with autism and those with synaesthesia have some similarities, even though the two issues are broadly different due to social skills and the ability to communicate.
Individuals with synaesthesia tend to not struggle in the social department, while those with autism certainly do, which is why the two have been thought of completely separate for so long. The researchers found that there is a link, it’s just not social–it’s sensory related.
They found that both groups (autism and synaesthesia) reported “heightened sensory sensitivity.” This is important to note because it casts a more positive light on sensory issues in teens with autism.
Sensory issues in teens with autism are often thought to be negative, this research points out a more positive side of them. It also means that there may be a way to hone those sensory issues in teens to become an asset rather than a hinderance. The researchers in the study are excited to look further into this area and possibly make life for those with autism easier.
What to do when sensory issues in teens with autism become too difficult to handle
As parents, it’s our job to recognize when our child is struggling. Sensory issues in teens with autism can cause significant disruptions in school, at home, and in social settings. When it begins to get in the way of daily life, that’s when it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.
Seven Stars helps with autism and sensory issues in teens
Seven Stars is a program that combines residential treatment with adventure therapy to create a multifaceted, effective program for adolescents, ages 13 to 18, struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder.
We embed the objectives we have for each student into daily activities and teach emotional wellness skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, social skills, academic skills, self-efficacy and prosocial behaviors. At Seven Stars, we strive to help our students develop the skills necessary to live full, productive lives.
For more information about how Seven Stars helps with sensory issues in teens, contact us today at 844-601-1167.
Since 2003, Dr. Gordon Day has passionately helped young people with a wide range of family, emotional, social, neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Gordon’s mission has been to help people find their strengths and their own passion for living a full and rewarding life. He is particularly sensitive to the pressures, frustrations and disappointments that adolescents face that can sometimes cause them and their loved ones to want to withdraw and throw their hands up in despair.
Dr. Day knows that you really have to understand where a student is coming from and understand their patterns of strengths and needs. When we truly know an individual and their struggles, only then can we truly help.
Dr. Day has pioneered the use of outdoor therapy activities and outdoor living as a dynamic and effective therapeutic tool for learning, confidence building and skill building. His programs provide effective, supportive and encouraging environments that help students find their strengths and power.