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10 Myths About Autism and Sensory Integration

Toni helps autistic teens and adults reach their employment and relationship goals. She is the author of the book Autism Translated.


This article addresses common myths about sensory integration disorder (SID), or sensory dysfunction (SD). The experiences, insights, and opinions of over 150 autistic individuals were gathered by the author as the basis for this article.

Of all the characteristics associated with autism, people on the spectrum consistently state that understanding and addressing how their bodies interpret sensations is one of the most beneficial things that neurotypicals (people without autism) can do to be supportive and develop insight into the world of autism.

Treat sensory issues before addressing socialization and communication? YES!

Although people on the autism spectrum have been saying it for several years, treating sensory issues first is a relatively new concept for autism professionals who are typically accustomed to addressing socialization and communication difficulties before and sometimes to the exclusion of sensory problems.

Of particular concern for professionals is the lack of research indicating the effectiveness of sensory integration therapy for ASD's. While there is some emerging evidence that suggests deep tissue massage may be helpful1, more research is needed to give sensory dysfunction the attention it deserves and provide effective treatment options for individuals experiencing sensory dysfunction.

Recent changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual's fifth edition (DSM V) by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) emphasize the degree to which an individual experiences restricted and repetitive behaviors associated with sensory integration (SI) challenges and may provide a framework to help professionals better address sensory issues if used appropriately.

What Exactly Is Sensory Dysfunction?

“Sensory dysfunction” is defined for our purposes as the body’s inability to interpret input through the senses (such as taste or smell) to a useful degree. In other words, sensory dysfunction occurs any time a person experiences too much or not enough feedback from their world.

“External stimuli” simply means anything that can affect any of the senses: a traffic light, an alarm clock, a hug, perfume, a squeaky wheel, bright wall hangings, or a crowd of people.

Common Sensory Myths

Smell, sight, taste, touch, and sound are not the only senses we have.

Smell, sight, taste, touch, and sound are not the only senses we have.

Myth #1

Humans only have five senses: Taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound.

Fact #1

In addition to taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound there are two additional senses sometimes called “the hidden senses,” or vestibular and proprioceptive senses.

“Vestibular” refers to our sense of balance that is regulated by the inner ear. It creates the awareness of space, gravity and movement as well as our head and body position in relation to the earth.

“Proprioceptive” refers to our awareness of what our body parts are doing and where they are in relation to the world around us. Our muscles, joints, and ligaments provide the body with this information.

Some lights can create visual distortions and cause headaches for some people with SID.

Some lights can create visual distortions and cause headaches for some people with SID.

Imagine for a moment...

entering a room for the first time for an important job interview. You are “hit” with the noxious smell of something rotting in the refrigerator mixed with an overpowering perfume. You feel like retching. Bright lights shine directly into your eyes so you aren’t sure if there are two or three people sitting at the table in front of you.

When you finally feel your way through the disorienting light into a chair, someone asks you a question over the sound of a loud fan, You vaguely hear them say “This . . . highly sought . . . committee would. . . what qualifications . . . bring . . . candidates?” You really want this job but you have no idea what the question was and furthermore you are suddenly aware that you squinted your eyes, scrunched your nose up and pulled back abruptly when you entered the room in response to the strong odors and bright light. It was not the first impression you had hoped to make. You reply, “Well, the candidates for this position should be hard working, reliable, and creative.”

A voice from across the table responds once again over the fan “Yes, but . . . above your competition?”

YYou are painfully aware that the noise of the fan and the queasy sensation in your stomach prevented you from hearing the question as it was stated: “This is a highly sought after position. The committee would like to know what qualifications you can bring to the job over the other candidates?” “What sets you above your competition?”

Myth #2

Autistic people experience sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, balance, and body awareness “just like everybody else." When they complain about specific sensations, they are making them up to avoid something, seek attention or it’s just a psychological problem.

Fact #2

Sensory dysfunction is real. Individuals on the autism spectrum encounter significantly heightened sensory feedback to their bodies. This can cause confusion, disorientation and even pain in some cases. Autistics may also experience diminished sensations so they are unaffected by events that would cause a person to feel discomfort or pain such as a broken bone or an illness.

People who are oversensitive to specific sounds, touch, taste, sight or smells are referred to as hypersensitive. People who do not feel as much as the typical person are referred to as hyposensitive.

As a matter of fact, people on the spectrum frequently report that their sensory experiences and perceptions play a significant role in every aspect of their lives including their ability to function in their environment and relate to other people.

This is a crucial point for neurotypicals to understand: When a person is hypersensitive and/or hyposensitive, this imbalance can affect every aspect of life including the ability to communicate and socialize effectively! Addressing sensory dysfunction can contribute to improvements in communication and socialization for some people.

Unfortunately, neurotypicals all too often dismiss sensory dysfunction, having never experienced it. Therefore, although it is one of the most important issues identified by people on the spectrum, it is also one of the least understood aspects of autism. The result is that the individual experiencing its difficulties is offered very little support to cope with their sensory challenges.

On a positive note, many autistic individuals possess an acute awareness of their bodies and any subtle changes that can be helpful when trying to determine healthy diet, medications, or necessary treatments.

Some of these individuals utilize their heightened senses to their advantage in their careers and personal lives. Keep in mind that each person is unique and sensory issues may be very overwhelming for some individuals affect others only mildly.

Myth #3

People cannot be both hypersensitive and hyposensitive at the same time.

Fact #3

It is possible to have both hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity.

For example, it is possible to be hypersensitive to certain sounds such as a DVD rotating in a player, but not be affected by the sound of a firecracker exploding.

Myth #4

People who “self-stim” (for example: rock back and forth, flick their fingers in front of their eyes, twitch their necks to the side, flap their hands) have no control over when and where they exhibit these behaviors and if they demonstrate control over these behaviors then they do not have autism.

Fact #4

Many individuals are able to regulate when and where they “self-stim."

They have learned that certain behaviors are not considered socially acceptable and make special efforts to keep these behaviors out of sight in certain environments or around certain people.

An individual may be able to tolerate lights at work but not at home.

An individual may be able to tolerate lights at work but not at home.

Myth #5

Autistic people “self-stim” to annoy or upset other people.

Fact #5

Autistics typically “self-stim” to relieve anxiety or because it feels good.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that people on the spectrum often do not generalize new information and skills from one setting and situation to another. For example, just because a person has learned not to rock at school does not mean they will automatically transfer that knowledge to the grocery store or grandma’s house.

Myth #6

People’s sensory experiences remain constant regardless of time, location, and circumstance. If they tolerate something at work or school, they should also be able to tolerate it at home or if they tolerated it last week, they should be able to tolerate it today.

Fact #6

People’s tolerance of sensory stimuli can vary greatly from one circumstance to another.

For example, many autistic teens and adults report that they are able to withstand certain sounds or lights while in public places such as school or work, but it requires so much energy and effort on their part to “hold it together” during this time that when they return home they must “shut down” as they have used up their ability to cope.

During this time they may experience a heightened sense of pain or discomfort to noises, touch, smells and or sights. It is as if they have used up all the hot water in the heater and must wait for the tank to reheat. An increase in rocking, hand flapping and other sensory behaviors may occur during these times as a way to relieve tension that has built up.

Sensory stimulation can be more difficult to tolerate during times of transition or change. For example: when job responsibilities change, a new car or home is purchased, death or birth of a family member, a new supervisor or teacher is introduced.

Furthermore, some individuals report having difficulty experiencing more than one sensation at a time. For example, the feeling of water in the shower may be tolerable in the dark, but overwhelming if the lights are on. Or eye contact may be relatively comfortable to achieve unless there is also background noise from other people talking.

ADHD medications can heighten symptoms of anxiety.

ADHD medications can heighten symptoms of anxiety.

Myth #7

Inattention and hyperactivity are best treated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) medication.

Fact #7

Severe anxiety can often mimic symptoms of ADHD.

Anxiety is defined as excessive worry and distress over regular life events or events that are unlikely to happen. Thoughts of what might happen dominate the person’s day and interfere with their ability to enjoy life and accomplish daily tasks. Furthermore, individuals who have anxiety often report physical sensations such as racing heart, difficulty breathing, sweating, stomachaches, headaches, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping.

Stimulant medications used for ADHD can actually intensify anxiety and cause an increase in sensory seeking behaviors. In order for individuals on the spectrum to live comfortably and reach their potential, it is absolutely crucial that any issues of anxiety be addressed. Unfortunately, anxiety is frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed as ADHD and the results can be profoundly debilitating.

While both individuals with OCD and HFA may engage in rituals, only those with autism will have social and communication deficits as well.

While both individuals with OCD and HFA may engage in rituals, only those with autism will have social and communication deficits as well.

Myth #8

If a person exhibits tendencies such as lining things up, having a specific routine or rituals like turning around before entering a room or washing hands, they must have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Fact #8

Many autistics are misdiagnosed with OCD, especially when they exhibit milder communication and socialization challenges.

While it is true that autism and OCD can look very similar on the surface, the defining difference is that in addition to obsessive compulsive tendencies, all autistic individuals have difficulties with social communication as well as their obsessive compulsive tendencies. Individuals with OCD do not have remarkable deficits in their ability to socialize or communicate.

Unfortunately, autistic individuals who receive a diagnosis of OCD often do not get needed help with communication and socialization. Furthermore, even though OCD is an anxiety disorder, these individuals may not get help for their anxiety because the focus of treatment is often to eliminate sensory seeking behaviors rather than addressing the underlying anxiety that causes this behavior in the first place.

Squishy balls help some people focus and relieve anxiety

Squishy balls help some people focus and relieve anxiety

Myth #9

It is not fair to let some students have wiggle seats, squishy balls, hats, or other sensory devices because not all students are allowed to have them.

Fact #9

Sensory devices in the classroom or on the job are not toys.

They are necessary accommodations to help some students be successful in the same way that glasses help improve vision and hearing aids improve listening skills for some individuals. Sensory devices may help relieve anxiety and stress as well as improve focus and decrease the chances of a meltdown or mental overload.

Gastrointestinal problems can cause pain and increase autistic symptoms.

Gastrointestinal problems can cause pain and increase autistic symptoms.

Myth #10

People on the spectrum should be able to control their urinary urges and their bowels “like everybody else."

Fact #10

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues are a major concern for autistics.

As a matter of fact, children with ASD's have a higher rate of GI issues than typical children and children with other developmental disabilities. This can present with extreme discomfort and even pain. Some individuals are unable to sense when they need to void and this can result in loss of both bladder and bowel control.

Some individuals on the spectrum also report that for some reason, voiding on themselves feels comforting and they may wet themselves to relieve anxiety. Potty training is a skill that is delayed and difficult to learn for some children on the spectrum.

Resources for Autism and SID

Further Reading

I have written a number of other articles about autism. Here are three that you may find helpful:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Toni Boucher (author) on December 12, 2016:

Thanks for your feedback and sharing about your son's unique experiences Brian McSweeney. It sounds like he is really developing some self awareness and what a gift to share his perceptions with you. Very nice to see!

Brian McSweeney on October 16, 2016:

Hi Tony - this is a wonderful site. I was googling, "my teen-age autistic son says, "My nose is smelling sounds." and ran into your site. I am a elementary special ed resource teacher and my 15-year-old son was diagnosed with autism when he was four. Our son has always been verbal but since january we have been learning Soma-RPM. We have been shocked/delighted to witness our son sharing his thoughts on his letterboard, in many ways meeting a new being for the first time, though mom, dad and son have always been incredibly close and connected. Getting back to the synaesthesia a couple months ago he wrote on the letterboard, "It is so weird. I see, I can't explain it. I am sure I see sound. It is light blue when you speak. It is your voice."

(referring to his RPM teacher)

Well thanks again for your wisdom.

Anne K. Ross on July 24, 2016:

Great post! I'm a mom and a professional...and you've nailed it! www.beyondrainman.com

Toni Boucher (author) on April 02, 2016:

Brutishpoon, sounds like you have some big changes coming up and some serious adjustments to routine are going to happen. Can you have the teacher she has now begin to prepare her with some social stories about the new school. You are very smart to maintain the relationship with her friend on weekends. When I work with families who are changing schools I recommend establishing a peer buddy or two in the new classroom to help with the adjustment and create a positive culture. I know it's so sad and frustrating to me to hear how your daughter's friend was punished by a teacher of all people! having the right teacher can make all the difference. Please keep us updated on how things go and good luck with the transition to the new school! Toni

Amy from Darlington, England on April 02, 2016:

I do the same for my daughters best friend who is on the spectrum and has turrets. When people see her ticks they just assume she is messing around. They are physical not verbal at the moment. Even their old teacher had the nerve to tell her to stop shaking when she had been informed of the situation. It was my daughter who stuck up for her and made sure her parents found out what the teacher was doing. Their new teacher is great but she s moving schools in September so I just hope she gets an understanding teacher and finds some great new frends like my daughter who can understand and help her. We are going to try and get them together most weekends once she has moved. I just hope she can adjust as she has these fixed routines and rituals that she has to do or she is moody the rest of the day. She will not leave my daughter without a kiss-cuddle-kiss and it has to be exact.

Toni Boucher (author) on April 02, 2016:

Brutishspoon, That is a wonderful tip for other parents- to enlist and welcome the advocacy of other adults. So many times people just assume an autistic child is "bad" or their parent has created the behavior, but the parent of another child can stand up when we aren't around and when people mistakenly think it's our fault-and won't listen to us. Thanks for sharing how your daughter's friend's parent has talked openly on her behalf.

Amy from Darlington, England on April 02, 2016:

She is also lucky in the fact that there is another parent whos kids she is friends with that sticks up for her when other parents say things about her being naughty. She has seen the nice polite child that my daughter can be and she always tells them about that side of her.

Toni Boucher (author) on March 30, 2016:

Brutishspoon, I think your daughter is lucky that you understand her experience so that you can advocate for her when people think this is just trying to be difficult.

Amy from Darlington, England on March 04, 2016:

I have recently found out that my daughters short term memory is like mine.f she does something wrong she often does not realise that she has done it or if she does then she does not remember why. Now most people would think she is just saying it to gat away with things as thats what some people thought about me. However as I have experienced this and she did not know about it at the time I feel that she could have that same problem.

Toni Boucher (author) on March 03, 2016:

Brutishspoon- I can related. My mom always thought she was shy and my grandfather was described as a brilliant engineer who didn't understand people. I wrote about it recently in another hub about women and autism called "Confessions of a Closet Aspie". You can check it out. I'd be interested in hearing in what ways your circumstance might be similar and different. So glad you are ablate recognize the uniqueness in your daughter.

Amy from Darlington, England on March 03, 2016:

My oldest reminds me of what I was like. The difference is the fact that Autisum is more recognised today than it was 25-30 years ago and I feel that I understand her more than my mom did me. My mom still does not think I'm hfa and probably never will. However she herself showed signs when she was younger way back in the 60s, back when we would have been classed as naughty or even thick when it came to certain subjects.

Toni Boucher (author) on March 01, 2016:

Brutishspoon, Hi there and thanks for the update with your daughter. I just talked to another mom today who said she is starting to notice signs in her youngest who is about 7. Her oldest was already diagnosed. It will be interesting see the similarities and differences between you and your daughter as she grows up. With my daughter I realize now certain traits that we have in common that I didn't realize when she was very young.

Amy from Darlington, England on March 01, 2016:

After spending time at home on maternity I have noticed things in my 7 year old that remind me of myself. Her new teacher how has only known her since October has also seen the signs. She is very creative and is at a high level with her maths. She struggles to concentrate and can get bord easily at times.

Toni Boucher (author) on October 28, 2015:

Brutishspoon, the right fit makes all the difference for a job. I get to interview a man who created a multimedia company that he has designed to be autism friendly. I think that is so exciting because many people have plenty to offer in the right environment. So I agree with you about autism not being a disability- we can harness the uniqueness and the strengths that people have. Thanks for sharing your insights. Toni

Amy from Darlington, England on October 28, 2015:

When it comes to my job I'm just lucky that I have found a place where I feel happy and comfortable. I have made lots of friends however my jabbering on about none relevant topics and my nervous disposition around some senior management that causes me to not get my words out how I want them to has gotten me into bother a few times. I look at Autism not as a disability but at its good side. For me that is my IQ and my creativity. I'm 34 and seem to be at a point in my life where it is under control.

Toni Boucher (author) on October 28, 2015:

Brutishspoon, I am curious about what specific things about your job make it a good fit for you? You bring up several great points- People are always recommending that I shop in a particular store and I have just never been able to be in there because of the color and one of my favorite stores just redecorated and I can't tolerate it at all now. This internet has made it possible for so many people to connect who previously were isolated in face to face interaction and I believe it actually gives people a tolerance in some instances of person to person interaction as well because it is possible to practice some skills in a safer environment before testing them out in the world. Congratulations on your soon to arrive second child. Toni

Amy from Darlington, England on October 28, 2015:

I have a form of HFA and suffer from sensory problems. A few years ago I could not stand to be in one of the shops that my mam always shops in. That shop has now moved and the new company have changed things and I find that I can enter it now without a problem. I find social interaction hard but love communicating using the internet. I suffer from depression/anxiety and find my relief in writing and being creative. I live a fairly normal life with a full time job a 7 year old child and another on the way but it was not alwys that easy. It took my years to get a good job that I managed to hold down.

Toni Boucher (author) on July 23, 2015:

Thanks for sharing your experience with OT. It's good to hear you both got the support to work through such challenging times. As your son matures through the years I would be interested in knowing how these sensitivities which have been such a challenge are harnessed and potentially even become a strength for him in his ability to be aware or notice things other people don't.

McKenna Meyers on July 21, 2015:

I would have gone bonkers as a first-time parent without a wonderful occupational therapist to help me with my son who had sensory integration disorder. I had never heard of it, but my son had many unusual behaviors such as flapping like a bird. His scalp was extremely sensitive to touch and he would scream in pain when I combed his hair. He was terrified of my electric mixer. The early intervention he received from the o.t. and speech therapist made a HUGE difference for him and me. Thanks for enlightening so many!

ThatBrandi on April 18, 2015:

"Additionally, I would recommend the use of 'autistic' rather than 'with autism' as autism is inextricable from us and not something additional added on. "

Paige--I understand your point; however, there does not appear to be a standard for referring to people who have disabilities (or even race, gender, etc., etc.) . I work in special education, but also have a son on the spectrum , and it has been drilled into us to use "person first" identifiers, such as, "Mary is a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder", instead of Mary is autistic" . Personally, I find the constant semantics games and obsession with political correctness tiring and disingenuous. To me, over-the-top political correctness is NOT about respecting people, but a "Look at us, aren't we so sensitive, you should vote for us"! OK. I've over shared and this is only MY opinion. Everyone is entitled to one :)

jeff on March 23, 2015:

Where is the link to part 2?

Toni Boucher (author) on October 29, 2014:

Yes, you are absolutely right about people coming across as harsh or mean because they don't understand what is going on. And there aren't enough resources out there. No matter what kind of autism training I do- I always start by emphasizing the sensory aspect first because it's rare when I encounter someone who is aware and knows what to do about it. Thanks for sharing Infoweekly.

infoweekly from South Africa on October 29, 2014:

Amazing Article! I don't think that there is enough resources out there for people to learn more about this. People don't understand what sensory disorders so they don't know how they should handle these situations and come off rather mean.

Toni Boucher (author) on October 03, 2014:

JW, I know exactly what you mean about having these sensory experiences but not being able to describe them to others. I'm glad this article will be of help. Feel free to share it with anyone. The more people who understand the challenges of hyper/hypo sensitivity, the better. I wish you the best- Toni

JW on October 02, 2014:

As an autistic adult, I appreciate the work put into this article. It is difficult for me to explain my sensory challenges and am always looking for this type of written explanation to send my friends. When I attempt to explain it, I always seem to lack the words.

Toni Boucher (author) on October 01, 2014:

Yes Emilia, I really like how you state that "learning uses sensory input". I am curious about how the recent autism DSM V's changes in sensory criteria are ultimately going to affect people on the spectrum. I guess we will find out together. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Emilia Riera from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 01, 2014:

Wise words. As a teacher with a Master's in Special Education/Autism, sensory is always my first go-to for problem solving. Others don't always seem to understand this. Bottom line: Learning uses sensory input. If the sensory systems are out of adjustment, no learning, social or otherwise, is going to take place. I had hoped that Sensory Processing Disorder would be included in the DSM-V, but alas, it was excluded again. Without the official acknowledgement of the APA, too many other professionals will discount the serious impact this condition has on the everyday functioning of persons with autism and related disorders.

Toni Boucher (author) on September 24, 2014:

I appreciate your feedback Sara. Thank you.

Sara Krentz from USA on September 24, 2014:

Excellent article. Thank you for bringing attention to this.

Toni Boucher (author) on September 24, 2014:

Thanks Hezekiah for sharing. When my daughter was young I just knew she was fussy. I had no idea that she was dealing with sensory overload. I imagine lot's of people are in the same situation. Best to you!

Hezekiah from Japan on September 24, 2014:

Very interesting read there. I know a handful of people which both symptoms but could never tell or be able to label anything.

Toni Boucher (author) on January 14, 2014:

Thank you for sharing your experience. I admire you for overcoming and working through the challenges.

Toni Boucher (author) on January 14, 2014:

Thank you for your feedback. I am glad you point out that this information is relevant to all autistic individuals. I also like that you point out the fact that autism is inextricable. This is a very important point.

1131fgvodf on January 06, 2014:

thank you for writing this .I have ADHD ,autism spectrum disorder,dyspraxia,dyslexia i am now 18 and have a lot of people not be able to grasp some of what i have had to over come and still go thru, even worse if i skip meds...... but to have some one who can understand and put that information out to people is nice so they get it is very nice . thank you .hopefuly more people well know learn what we have to deal with ,even if its just a spot on the other side of the window

Paige on January 06, 2014:

I am autistic. While most of the facts presented are useful and accurate, the label 'high functioning' is exclusive and not useful for the rest of the autism community. These myths/facts are applicable to most autistic individuals. Additionally, I would recommend the use of 'autistic' rather than 'with autism' as autism is inextricable from us and not something additional added on. Otherwise, I like this article and its myth-dispelling.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 17, 2013:

This is well written and promotes awareness of a little understood condition. Your description of the job interview scenario should really help people empathize. I have a relative, a child, who complains that certain objects are "too soft" and has some repetitive behaviors. Sensory Integration Disorder had been suggested to the child's parent. Voted up and more.

Chrissy McGee on August 17, 2013:

I agree with Laura Boyer. My son has severe hearing loss, and also seems to have hyposensitivity. I believe the two are interlinked.

CraftytotheCore on August 17, 2013:

Perfectly written. My son has Autism and ADHD. I went through a terrible time with the school at first last year, but it ended well in my son's favor.

Part of the problem we had was even though I had sat through endless meetings with about 10-14 school professionals, some of the key people were never in on the meeting such as the Occupational Therapist. My son went to a school with a behavior modification program and was denied OT at first. I took him to OT for 9 months privately and insurance refused to pay for it.

Finally, after my son had a full-fledge meltdown at school, they started providing OT. They used weighted vests and a brushing tool. I went to the school and met with OT and they showed me how to use the brushing tool.

When I said to OT, why isn't the school interested in providing OT to children with sensory issues.....she said, "because sensory issues aren't real. They are not a true medical condition. So the school doesn't see how providing OT does anything to help the child succeed educationally."

Since then, during the summer, I had a second OT evaluation at a hospital (as services are grossly limited in this area). At first, insurance wasn't going to pay. It took me 3 weeks fighting. That's what I did at the beginning of this summer. Finally, they agreed to pay for it. My son is now again in private OT, but it was a huge battle getting insurance to cover it.

My son's behavior therapist wants him to go to Horses Healing Humans. They work with children on the spectrum with horse therapy. Once again insurance won't cover it. They feel that it's holistic and not proven medically necessary.

I could go on and on. But I want to stop at this note. My son rocks himself at school. The school tried to say that he was "annoying". I think schools need to come up to the current Autism research and some don't because they don't want to cut into their budgets. Thank you for writing this!

HeatherH104 from USA on August 16, 2013:

Great information and well written.

Voted up and shared.

Mary Kelly Godley from Ireland on June 28, 2013:

As a woman with HFA with an autistic son I really enjoyed this article. Your research is very thorough, voted up and shared.

Laura Boyer on September 24, 2012:

It should be noted that Sensory Integration Disorder is not limited to Autistic children. Many children with chromosomal abnormalities or genetic conditions have SID as well. It is not just related to autism. I know autism is in the forefront of the news lately but there are many other conditions that warrant similar attention. Did you know that 1 in 180 live births results in a child with a genetic or chromosome abnormality. Those numbers are staggering but that never seems to get much attention because the individual disorders are actually rare.

Toni Boucher (author) on October 13, 2011:

Julia, it's true that we forget when someone is high functioning that they have challenges and still need our support. Thanks for your feedback!

Toni Boucher (author) on October 13, 2011:

tamarindcandy- Thank you for giving me feedback. It's good to know people find it useful.

Toni Boucher (author) on October 13, 2011:

vocalcoach- Bringing the double bass to class is a great idea. Thanks for sharing! Toni

Julia on October 13, 2011:

I am well into my third year of teaching students on the spectrum. Because they are so high functioning, we often forget all of the nuances of autism. I am just beginning to realize how extensive sensory issues can be for them even if they are high functioning. I greatly appreciate your article. It is hard to find good info for higher functioning spectrum students. Thank you!!

Toni Boucher (author) on October 13, 2011:

Thank you missolive. I'm glad you found the information useful as a parent and a professional.

tamarindcandy on October 12, 2011:

This is a wonderful hub for raising awareness and getting people to become more understanding of autistic children. Voted up!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on October 12, 2011:

My son teaches "special needs" children. He is a musician and sometimes takes his large double bass to class. The children love to touch and feel it, responding to the vibrations. I will see that he gets this marvelous article. Thanks you for this information. Voted UP! ...and welcome to hubpages!

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on October 11, 2011:

This is an incredibly informative and well written hub. I am a teacher as well as a parent of a child with autism. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.

Welcome to HubPages! This hub is voted UP and useful - great job!