2. HYPER-ACTIVITY… (overactive), is defined by an exaggerated or avoidant response to sensory stimuli.
Bogdashina & Casanova (2016) describe HYPER-Activity as the channel that is too open, and as a result, too much stimulation gets in for the brain to handle. Continuing to say that children with hyper-activity often ‘stim’ in order to try to normalize their sensory input.
Sometimes they rock, spin, flap, or tap in order to calm themselves. Coping with unwanted stimulation can often result in covering eyes or ears and making noises to block out sensory stimulation.
These authors explain that Hyper-activity is said to be an acute, heightened, or excessive sensitivity to what is going on around in the environment. Under florescent lights such children can see a 60-cycle flickering where the whole room pulsates, as a result. One person said, “My world was fragmented. My mother was a smell, my father a tone, my brother was something moving.” Another said, “I remember being attracted to pieces of people’s faces. Their hair, their, eyes, or their teeth attracted me.” Seeing parts instead of wholes, saying perception is often fragmented, distorted, or delayed.
< My Thoughts > “perception is often fragmented, distorted, or delayed.”
Phelan (2015) further explains the circumstances of one’s perception. She says that upon hearing a dog bark, many of us pay attention briefly then carry on. But a child having a negative experience with dogs may respond with a startle response, feeling anxious until s/he feels assured they are out of harm’s way. For some with sensory issues, that heightened state of alertness will continue throughout the day.
Bogdashina & Casanova continue, quoting Tito Muknopadhyay who describes his hyper excitable state: “Panic took over my eyes, blinding them shut. It took over my ears, deafening me with the sound of a scream which was my own. I had no power to stop it.”
< My Thoughts > “Coping with unwanted stimulation can often result in covering eyes or ears…”
Ausderau, et al. (2014)believe that while for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -5 (DSM-5) define sensory features uniquely and distinctly, they say that –
Research suggests that certain patterns of HYPO & HYPER activity can co-occur within individuals in reaction to stimulus from the environment.
Donkers, et al. (2015) talk about ‘mismatched’ reactions to environmental stimulus. They say that brain response can cause them to cover their ears because it triggers a memory, not necessarily because the sound is extremely loud and painful.
Neil, et al. (2017) remind us that it is important to choose which behaviors are HYPO and which are HYPER, because measuring and labeling is important to provide funds for various services from insurance companies. This may not optimally account for the full range of sensory symptoms the child is experiencing. For instance, the question may be… “Does your child show an unusual response to…”. The scoring does not divide hypo from hyper responsiveness. Then there is our Sonny who reacts the same for ‘happy’, ‘sad, and ‘mad’! Smiles.
REFERENCES used here are:
Ausderau, K., Sideris, J., Furlong, M., et al. (2014). National Survey of Sensory Features in Children with ASD: Factor Structure of the Sensory Experience Questionnaire; Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders; V44, p915–925.
Bogdashina, O. & Casanova, M.(2016). Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Different Sensory Experiences – Different Perceptual Worlds; Second Edition: London; Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Donkers, F., Schiput, S., Baranek, G., et al. (2015). Attenuated Auditory Event-Related Potentials & Associations with Atypical Sensory Response Patterns in Children with Autism; Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders; V45, p506–523.
Neil, L., Green D., Pellicano, E. (2017) The Psychometric Properties of a New Measure of Sensory Behaviors in Autistic Children; Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders; V47, p1261–1268.
Phelan, S. (2015). Understanding the Subtypes of Sensory Processing Disorder; Retrieved from
nspt4kids.com › Resourses > Occupational Therapy.
NOTE: Stories which may reveal real-time evidence of Sensory Issues ~
Someone I’m With Has Autism by Carrie Cariello & Jordan Capell, eBook 2015 Edition; an Extended Review with < My Thoughts > by Sara Luker
Extended Review with < My Thoughts > by Sara Luker (18% indicates location in the Kindle version of the book, instead of page numbers.)
18% Jack has common self stimulation practices include things like hand-flapping and humming. He tends to gallop across the room with his fingers in his mouth and to grunt or loudly clear his throat. We call it his “zoomies.”
31% “But wait,” Rose said with a worried look. “What if Jack, you know, bounces around? Because of his owt-ism?” Charlie added quietly, “Yeah mom. You know, he has a hard time sitting still. What if he has his zoomies?” “Jack do you need to zoom?” “NO! I WAS STILL!”
We all looked over at him, galloping across the kitchen at that very second. Henry leaped up from his seat and joined his big brother. Together they bounced the span of the kitchen and family room, back and forth, back and forth.
52% “Mom, remember last year at your sister’s party how excited Jack was? He was bouncing from room to room, making his way around the guests as he stimmed and zoomed. Every once in a while he would take his fingers out of his mouth long enough to screech about the dogs getting out.”
“Yes, I watch him every day through the school bus windows, stimming and zooming, eventually taking a seat. By himself.”
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