Children and youth with FASD may have differences with the way they interpret sensory information. They may show signs of being hyper-sensitive (feeling things too much) or being hypo-sensitive (not feeling things enough) to the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Children may be hyper-sensitive in one area, but hypo-sensitive in another. For example, a child might be over-sensitive to light, but under-sensitive to touch.
Hyper-sensitive children can easily feel everything. For example, clothing tags scratch, bright sunlight blinds, spicy food burns, loud intercoms startle.
Hypo-sensitive children have a difficult time feeling. For example, they may have a high pain threshold, not feel hot or cold, hold a pencil tightly and push hard onto the paper to see the pencil make a mark.
Often as the environmental stimulus increases or decreases, so may the child’s behaviour.
Teach your child to recognize their sensory issues and encourage them to ask for things that will help, such as sunglasses or turning down the volume.
Remember, it’s about trying differently not harder. If something does not work, try something else!