Sensory Issues

I have some sensory issues associated with my autism and some sensory issues that I don’t know where they came from or what they are.  One thing that I know is autism is when someone is talking to me and I hear something else or someone starts talking nearby, I will lose my focus and have trouble concentrating on the person I am supposed to be focusing on.  This has been an issue at my current job at the grocery store because there are A LOT of noises from everywhere.  I’ve gotten better at focusing, but if something interesting catches my attention that is more interesting than my customer, then I have trouble.  When I was a manager at the store, I had to listen to all the intercom calls all the while interacting with customers, which was sometimes difficult.

I recently got a new job at a non-profit for people with disabilities.  I am struggling with deciding when I should tell them about my autism though.  I want to prove to them I can do the job before I dump my problems on them, but I also want them to understand that, for example, the sensory issues I have with people talking nearby.  I think I’ve come to the decision that on the first day, I’ll tell my manager that I have some sensory issues and will benefit from getting directives in a quiet place.

One thing that I don’t think is autism and actually don’t have any idea what it is, is the fact that I loud noises that I expect don’t seem loud to me.  Last week, I dropped a pile of grocery baskets in the lobby and it made a loud enough noise that it echoed, but all I heard was the echo.  This happens quite a bit with other things too, but that’s the only thing I can think of and the most recent thing that happened to me.

Here’s a quick link of some information about sensory issues:
http://www.autismtoday.com/articles/Sensory_Disorder.htm

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2 responses to “Sensory Issues

  1. I agree you should explain that you do have some heightened sensory perception that doesn’t cause you major MAJOR problems but you want to give them a heads up about it from day one. Apart from anything else, you’re working with an organisation for people with disabilities so they’re not going to freak out or take issue with it.

    My son has sensory issues too but it’s everything – his hearing, vision, sense of taste, touch and smell. He has Asperger’s and his entire world is like it’s been programmed to HD and then multiplied x5.

    I have weird hearing and although I’m as deaf as toast in one ear, sometimes noises that have a particular pitch or tone that sounds so loud to me, they can drive me nuts and people don’t understand how I can be deaf and yet at the same time, hear the noise of a humming fridge or TV that’s on mute even though I’m in a different room.

    I just explain to them that I don’t know why I hear things like that but I just do. Nothing else you can say really.

    Good luck in the new job! 🙂

  2. Yeah, that sounds very much like sensory processing disorder. I can only guess but from what I know, your brain might block out the loudest sounds as “overwhelming” so you were only able to perceive the echo.

    Just a guess, look forward to reading more of your posts.

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