Sun and Sensory Issues

Right after Logan’s diagnosis, we began dealing with a sensory issue that nearly killed us.  Literally.  Logan HATED for the sun to shine on him through the car windows.  We did not know it was a sensory issue at the time. Just that Logan wouldn’t ride in the car without screaming every time the sunshine touched him.  His screams were so ear piercing that we would do anything to get him to stop.

Considering that we live in Florida, you know the Sunshine State, not taking him out in the car was not an option. Add to that he had special needs preschool  the next town over from ours and I worked 30 mins from there and  he spent a considerable amount of time in the car.  What we resorted to was to hang a towel in the window he sat by to block out the sun.  That made his window completely unusable for driving purposes.  See what I mean by nearly killed us.

Knowing  what we know now, we can clearly see that it was a sensory issue.  If I had to do it over again, God forbid, I would brush him before we left the house to get him in a calm and relaxed state. I would put a weighted blanket on him to give him the sensory pressure that he so craved ( I believe it is proprioceptive input but don’t quote me on that).  I would keep the extra stimuli to a minimum in an effort to keep him calm.  Back then, I was so stressed and overloaded that I would turn the radio on to calm me.  It never did because it overloaded him more. Then he would scream louder and I would get more stressed.  It was a no win battle.

The one thing that I would change from those early years is to take his sensory needs more seriously.  Unfortunately you are still in crisis mode when you first get the diagnosis.  You are trying to get through the day and grieving the loss of the child you imagined.  That’s a whole other post though.

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Penny Rogers
Just a Florida homeschooling mom attempting to navigate autismland with my teenage son with autism and the rest of my goofy family. We love Jesus and live gluten free . One kid with celiac and one gluten free for his autism. We utilize the Charlotte Mason approach mixed with lots of field trips as well as jaunts to Walt Disney World. Just sharing my adventures to make you feel better about your family and maybe learn a thing or two that helps !
Penny Rogers

Penny Rogers

Just a Florida homeschooling mom attempting to navigate autismland with my teenage son with autism and the rest of my goofy family. We love Jesus and live gluten free . One kid with celiac and one gluten free for his autism. We utilize the Charlotte Mason approach mixed with lots of field trips as well as jaunts to Walt Disney World. Just sharing my adventures to make you feel better about your family and maybe learn a thing or two that helps !

0 thoughts on “Sun and Sensory Issues

  • July 20, 2010 at 9:07 am
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    Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever after due examination and analysis you find to be kind conducive to the good the benefit the welfare of all beings that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.

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  • July 19, 2010 at 10:16 am
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    I don’t have autism but I can relate to the sun part. I have lupus and i’m so photosensitive i’m not allowed to be in the sun. My car isn’t really safe either from the precautions i take

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  • July 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm
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    It’s so hard in the early days though, you can’t be expected to know all there is to know about autism, especially not just a short time after diagnosis.  There is a long period of learning, firstly learning what it is your child has, then finding out about the finer details like sensory issues and looking at ways of dealing with it.  It all takes a lot of time, my daughter is 13 and I am still learning about what makes her tick.  Then she moves the goalposts and we have to brainstorm more ideas on coping strategies and ways to help her! 

    I think it’s so hard not to fall into feelings of guilt, but it’s important to try not to, because we aren’t mind readers and we’re not (at least to start with) experts on autism.  All we can do is keep on trying to make the world as tolerable as possible, for everyone’s sakes 🙂

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  • July 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm
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    We learn from our mistakes, and at least now you know how to control his sensory issues; well at least facilitate them! I think the key is to remain calm yourself. If you start reacting to his tantrum, it may just make it worse. I do not believe you lost the child you hoped for, because Logan is special and wonderful in his own unique way. And along with the tantrums and the sensory issues, he has his own personality and way of being that no one else in the world has. I post blogs on http://www.MySpeechTherapyCenter.com about communication wellness. I feel that it is incredibly important to spread awareness about autism and other communication difficulties. Feel free to visit us whenever you get a chance!

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