Autistic Sensory Processing (09-28-21)

Crown investigated how the sensory systems of people on the autism spectrum process information from the physical world.  She reports that “Conservatively speaking, over 90% of people with autism process perceptual information in atypical ways (Crane et al., 2009). Any stimulus may be experienced as too intense, too weak, or as simply un-integrate-able.”  Two studies conducted by Crown indicate that “challenges autistic individuals face in processing, interpreting, and functioning smoothly in their environments . . . may well relate to their fragmented and irregular perceptual processing. . . . The person with autism understandably adopts rigidities to try to coax their world into some degree of manageable predictability. . . . The ways that people with autism experience and take in information lead to experiences of distraction, assault, and anxiety and set several complications in motion: Over-focus on detail, fending off painful or disorganizing sensation and the resulting difficulty considering context likely lead to internal representations of self, other, and the world that are similarly atypical.”

Nancy Crown. “Oh No!  I see a Pit:  Making Sense of the Sensory on the Autism Spectrum.”  Psychoanalytic Psychology, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pap0000381