6 Reasons Why Our Son is Our Superhero
It is like he has spidey senses!
In some ways, William is our little superhero. His autism and sensory disorder means his brain processes certain sensory input differently from ours. It is like he has spidey senses, autism fuelled superpowers. Here’s how his brain works in terms of sensory processing:
1. He has zero filter
This means that he takes in every sound and visual that there is to take in. He does not filter out white noise like we do, he hears them all. He hears all 3 Azan prayers from the suraus nearby, he hears the aircond, the dishes being washed, the fan whirring, the buzzing in the kitchen light, the cars on the streets. Imagine living in an airport everyday. That’s him. This happens because his brain lacks the neuron that determines which noise is unimportant enough to be filtered out. To him every noise matters.
2. “Super hearing”
This non-filter also means he can hear very well when it is quiet. He’s been waken up by sound of paper (me taking an egg tart out of its paper cup), sound of neighbours opening doors, car window being winded down, opening of plastic container, walking with bedroom slippers, taking a plate from the dish rack, turning on the gas knob in the kitchen, flushing of toilet and ME shuffling in my sleep… YUP, the whole house have to be on high alert when he’s asleep cause so many small sounds can wake him up. It can be quite stressful for us when he sleeps and whenever one of us “wakes” him up by accident, the other person be like… NUUUUUUU.
He hears everything!
3. Attention to detail
Same with noise, he sees the fine details that we filtered out, like the reflection on the floor tiles and trees swaying are his fave to look at. He may notice the patterns on my shirt and my eye lashes but he may not notice you standing right in front of him cause he’s too busy looking at the details. He doesn’t have eye contact to toys but he notices when I’ve added a transparent corner bumper to a table (and subsequently pulls it out). Some say autistic people are too detailed that it distracts them from doing the real tasks. Fun fact, he can also see very well in the dark. He walks into a dark room every night by himself and doesn’t bump into anything.
4. Balancing act
He loves challenging his vestibular (balancing) senses, which is one of the 7 senses every human have (yeap, it’s not 5, it’s 7, thanks to his SPD, I know this now). You will find him perching on chairs, tables, armrests, high places, or walking on beams or standing on edges of the bed. In fact, he often runs on the bed and stop himself just in time right at the edge giving me a heart attack everyday. It’s as though he does it on purpose. He can spin around and around hundreds of times and laugh to himself about the sensation he is feeling. He also loves rolling off the sofa on purpose. I’ve also read that people like him with a vestibular sensory seeking tendency can balance themselves very well and don’t fall off easily…which could be true. For someone who runs on the bed on a daily basis, he has never fallen off (let’s not jinx it pls!)
He balances very well
Autistic people generally have hyperfocus. When they love something they go all out to do it. In his case, when he does his stimming he’s so into it, it’s hard to breakthrough. He could even forget he is hungry until we remind him. This also means it’s super hard to get him to stop doing whatever he’s into and do something else like therapy. Now if we can just channel that hyperfocus into some other useful activity so he can learn…
6. He knows meditation better than you and I
He’s basically constantly stressed and anxious due to the all the sensory inputs he gets everyday. Coupled with the fact he has social communication issues which makes looking and talking to people hard. He get frustrates easily and bothered over the slightest things. We recently found out he feels pain or discomfort from hearing metal clanking metal, paper rubbing paper, glass clanking glass and sometimes even plastic bags ruffling. Basically he can’t stand high decibel noises. because he feels, see and hears so much, he discovered ways to calm himself down. Like humming in a corner, staring at trees, talking to himself… the first time I learnt to meditate was when I was mimicking his humming to “join him” and then without realising, I was still humming his tune even after he’s done cos it was so calming
If you have a child on the spectrum with “special” traits please comment below. We’d love to hear from you 🙂