Sensory Regulation

The ability of an individual to integrate external stimuli into his or her personal experience. Examples include:

  • Aversion to or craving for certain types/intensities of sensory input.
  • Integrating multiple sensations and responding appropriately.
  • Knowing where one’s body is in space; avoiding bumping into people or objects.
  • Motor planning (using the body to accomplish a task).

A fair percentage of people with Asperger profiles are either hyper- or hypo-sensitive to touch, sound, taste, and/or sight (e.g bright light). There is significant variation among individuals for these traits. Some are affected only a little, while for others, seemingly-normal sensory stimuli can create significant barriers to living in the world. Sensory sensitivities tend to be the most severe in young children and often lessen over time; some individuals are much improved by adulthood. For example, a boy who cuts tags out of his clothing or refuses to eat certain foods may have an easier time with these sensitivities as he grows older.