Yesterday, I discussed how the Aspergers mind layers things on top of one another to create what we call the “Sensory Funnel”. I said that if you work on the sensory issues the most, instead of the social/emotional, then everything else falls into place. We had some awesome comments on that post, with a few questions of “Ok, how do I actually DO this?”
So, we shot a video explaining how to actually do this:
See our post “Why people with Aspergers do what they do” for the “Sensory Funnel” video referenced in the video above.
This process comes down to age. If the person with Aspergers IS at the maturity level to recognize that they have a problem with sensation, and that they need to do something about it, then great! Here’s what to do:
1) Have them identify exactly which sensations give them the most issues, as well as which category of sensation they have trouble with (Auditory, visual, kinesthetic, gustatory, etc).
2) Have the person with Aspergers expose them self to that sensation. Start in slow “doses”, with each exposure being only a few seconds, then gradually increase the time.
This forces the brain to figure out another way to deal with the sensation, since we are forcing the avoidance to no longer work. In turn, this leads only one other outcome: Integrate the sensation so that it no longer is a huge issue. This will take time, but is the best long term solution.
However, if the person with Aspergers is NOT at the maturity level where they can recognize, and willingly engage in exposing them self to stressful stimuli, then a different approach is required. Here’s what to do in that case:
1) Start off the same as above. Identify exactly the areas in which sensation is an issue.
2) Instead of exposing the person with Aspergers to that sensation, your job is to minimize it.
For example, I still dislike the smell of a fish market, but when I was younger it was 10x worse. So instead of trying to drag me to the fish market, my mom went there without me. Simple. What you will find when you minimize disruptive sensation in people with AS is that they will spend more time in THE world rather than THEIR world.
And because of that fact, they will have an easier time being aware of their own actions, picking up social skills, becoming confident, and moving into the person you know they can become.
We would love to hear your thoughts. Post a comment below!