Decreasing sensitivity to sensory sensitivity.

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nebrets
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16 Mar 2012, 9:35 am

Has anyone had any luck decreasing their sensitivity to sensory sensitivities that cause them problems?
If so, what sense was improved (smell, sound, sight, touch)?
What method was used to decrease your sensitivity?



TheChamelion
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16 Mar 2012, 10:43 am

nebrets wrote:
Has anyone had any luck decreasing their sensitivity to sensory sensitivities that cause them problems?
If so, what sense was improved (smell, sound, sight, touch)?
What method was used to decrease your sensitivity?


I have inadvertently decreased my sensitivity to sound. However it's not on purpose and has way more cons then pros...

I used to be very sensitive to noise but I also love tech. And I almost always couldn't have hearing protection because it was either unavailable or made me a target for jokes... And because I have a high pain threshold and wanted to 'fit in' I just didn't use it much like all the others. So basically over time of being in rooms with machinery and grinders and all the other things my hearing sensitivity lowered.
However I now usually have a ringing in my ears all the time... I used to only get that after being exposed to loud noises and even then only temporarily...

However the ringing in my ears isn't really noticeable until I try and go to sleep... -.-

So in other words I doubt exposure therapy would work for most with hearing sensitivity. (Well at least work without severe cons)


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Matt62
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16 Mar 2012, 1:40 pm

My main current one is (still) bright light. Transistion lenses on my eyeglasses & polarizing shades for outside helps. I usually cover my alarm clock with a shirt or towel now (at night. I hate anything but dim red light in dark conditions).
High-pitched noises are more problematic (though that has eased some with age). Some use ear-plugs. Better than cotton balls I am told..

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nebrets
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16 Mar 2012, 2:15 pm

Thanks,
I carry earplugs with me everywhere, but they are not very comfortable (but they are better than the sound I find painful) and they never completely block the sound out. I also wear sunglasses in stores with bright fluorescent lights.

A therapist I am seeing has suggested that exposure therapy would help with the intermittent uncontrollable sounds I have trouble with (like train whistles, or fire alarm battery dead beeping, or some white noise sound machines that I am not allowed to turn off), but so far it has just seemed to make me more anxious, and I was wondering if it would help in the long run, or if someone on the spectrum is not as helped by exposure therapy as NTs.



GumbyLives
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16 Mar 2012, 10:39 pm

I still have sensitivities, but I've lowered them a great deal by changing how I eat. Like I quit eating foods turns out I have allergies to (dairy, gluten, eggs, etc). I have no idea why that's worked to eliminate perhaps half of my sensitivity level, because when I did eliminate them I was looking to solve other problems (like just getting rid of chronic sinus congestion, that kind of thing).

My guess is that if these food allergies are also "irritants" of a kind (only deep-inside, mostly "hidden" irritants) and were therefore keeping me overly wired, then adding additional "irritants" (lights, clothing, etc) was just more irritation on top of an already huge pile of irritation - and I overload that much faster.

Other things aren't quite so intensely painful. Like, I'm sensitive to my own head-hair touching me, and I still have to wear my hair really short. Though that is still a sensitivity (as are flickering lights, non-cotton non-soft/pliable clothing, etc), it will now just send me into a moderate tizzy if I can't make it go away - but not a shutdown or meltdown (unless I'm already over-stressed with other things).

I doubt this will help everyone, but it's certainly something to consider (along with other stuff), if sensitivities are ruining your time at things. Not eating all the things I'm allergic to is a real pain, but it's worth it not having worries about losing jobs/etc because of being WAY over-sensitive in ways I can't "hide".


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kritie
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17 Mar 2012, 8:32 am

I have an extreme sensitivity to noise. This probably sounds crazy, but the only thing that has helped is an electronic tanpura (the tanpura is a stringed instrument that is used as a cyclical drone sound in Indian music). You can get electronic ones that look like small boxes with dials. For some reason, playing it quietly all day set on the key of D keeps my sensitivity levels more under control - doctor told me the cyclical sounds must be helping keep my brain's sound processing center regulated. I've just told everyone in the office that it's a fancy sound machine and so far no one has commented on it.



GumbyLives
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17 Mar 2012, 10:00 pm

kritie wrote:
I have an extreme sensitivity to noise. This probably sounds crazy, but the only thing that has helped is an electronic tanpura (the tanpura is a stringed instrument that is used as a cyclical drone sound in Indian music). You can get electronic ones that look like small boxes with dials. For some reason, playing it quietly all day set on the key of D keeps my sensitivity levels more under control - doctor told me the cyclical sounds must be helping keep my brain's sound processing center regulated. I've just told everyone in the office that it's a fancy sound machine and so far no one has commented on it.


Awesome!


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I would rather have my liver pecked out by a giant crow than spend a day at the mall. But I'd pay money to see a giant crow eat a mall.

Your Aspie score: 155 of 200 * Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 49 of 200 * You are very likely an Aspie