On to the sense of Hearing:
Temple also refers to her oversensitivity to noise:
“I could not modulate it. I either had to shut it all out and withdraw, or let it all in like a freight train.
To avoid its onslaught I would often Withdraw and shut the world out.”
(Grandin 1988 p.3)
Tony Attwood in his book “The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome” refers to two studies on the subject of Hearing that conclude that between 70 and 85 percent of such children have Sound Oversensitivity. (p 275). So the need to Withdraw into Own World to block out excessive noise, like Temple described above, is a very common need among the more-autistic of us. (But withdrawing for “some peace and quiet” is also a common need for all of us!)
It is easy to empathise with this OverSensitivity, as who of us has not been assailed by barrages of sound, either too loud or too continuously, or both? Focus now, however, on how you would cope if this were more all-pervasive and thus more ever-present?
Your desire for seclusion and removal would be greater and you would be more continuously “on-edge”, and finding it hard to concentrate.
The rest of this “You Experience autism” series deals in the “autistic manifestations” of these OverSensitivities. You now have a greater appreciation of sensory-overload and you can more closely identify with its consequences. You can now see that what the “more-autistically-oriented” of us experience it is merely an exaggeration of what we all experience.
Corroboration regarding OverSensitivities
from recent Neurological Researches:
Dr. Henry Markram has arrived at similar “Oversensitivity” conclusions to me, but they are firmly based on his and others’ comprehensive neurological studies.
He has dubbed his theory The “Intense World” Theory: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21191475 “The proposed neuropathology is hyper-functioning of local neural microcircuits, best characterized by hyper-reactivity and hyper-plasticity
…(producing) the cognitive consequences of hyper-perception, hyper-attention, hyper-memory and hyper-emotionality.
The progression of the disorder is proposed to be driven by overly strong reactions to experiences that drive the brain to a hyper-preference and overly selective state, ..Involuntarily and systematic decoupling of the autist
from what becomes a painfully intense world.
The autistic is proposed to become trapped in a limited, but highly secure internal world with minimal extremes and surprises.”
Dr. Markram founded the Blue Brain Project in 2002:
And if we are looking for confirmation of oversensitivity from the Arts, we could do worse than attend to Don McLean’s reference to Vincent Van Gogh, the song “Vincent” … “how you suffer for your sanity” (read “sensitivity”)