Yesterday Christy did a great job introducing us to the sensory issues people with Asperger's have a tendency to struggle with. Noise, smell, touch, taste - you name it - can be more intense and more offensive for someone with Asperger's than what it may be for those of us who do not struggle with this syndrome. It's more than just having a dislike for something. It's feeling attacked by it. Which leads us to another aspect of Asperger's Syndrome:
For those struggling with this Syndrome, their sensory systems are constantly on high alert. As discussed yesterday, someone with Asperger's is very easily overstimulated. Because of this overstimulation and the hyper-sensitivity on their sensory-systems, Asperger's individuals stay in fight-or-flight mode consistently.
This can become a dangerous cycle where anxiety arises, increasing overstimulation, which increases anxiety. Eventually relief must be sought, which comes in the form of lashing out (fight) or abruptly walking away from the middle of a conversation/argument/meeting (flight).
We all reach our breaking points and lash-out or shut down. However, to loved ones it seems more "weird" or "bizarre" when someone with Asperger's does it because it happens more frequently and in situations that don't seem to warrant this type of response. However, their feelings of anxiety and overstimulation are constantly so high, fighting or fleeing seems like an option for seeking relief in those moments.
We have several more characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome to share with you this week. Please check back in to learn more!
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.