Autism awareness month this month, BUT it doesn't go away for the other eleven!
April 9, 2017
I don't claim to be an expert on Autism/ASD/Asperger's but I have been on some pretty good courses.I have also worked with children and adults both as a T.A in Folkestone Kent and a trained Senior Irlen screener too. My whole wedding was gauged around one bridesmaid with ASD down to many social stories, extensive
pre-information, lots of practice, chosen seating etc etc.
Who hasn't looked in a medical dictionary and found that they could have everything from an ingrowing toe-nail to the plague if all the symptoms were allocated to each? (well not quite, but i am sure you get the point i am trying to make). I feel that sometimes diagnosis can be made too easily by ticking boxes and can so easily be something else.
I hastily add though, at this point, that diagnosis of Irlen syndrome is proven by the amazing improvements made, which can be instantly seen in many cases.
Many illnesses and conditions co-exist with each other and similarly that symptom could result from a different source.
1 in 3 with ASD/ASC/Autism/Asperger's, basically on the spectrum, have Irlen syndrome.
Picture the scenario in the supermarket, possible buzzing from freezers/fridges, Smells of fruit, veg, meat fish, bread and other things. People rushing around darting from place to place to get what they want. Sensory overload at it's finest. .Mix that with the unfortunate person that feels this situation is a worst nightmare.
I go back to the point I was making about the overlap of symptoms.
What if what could be thought to be part of Autism is Irlen? What if the Irlen filters calm the brain. Stop or greatly eliminate all the bright lighting and heightened sensory overload. An image that was distorted and flashing is previously now still and making sense.
Part of the triad of impairment is
Lack of social skills
Not reading emotions,
Sensory overload with withdrawal, to name just a few symptoms.
Now, what if the lack of social skills is because the child is unable to learn by observation 80% of which is learnt
through seeing (Irlen is the brain but observation is affected)?
What if lack of social skills is because the child cannot follow what is going on around?
What if not reading an emotion if because only a part of a face is seen in focus or worse still maybe only the eyebrows. what chance is there when looking at the face of a sibling or peer to see if they have had enough or are upset etc?
Sensory overload is a meltdown but it could be caused by the extreme light sensitivity of Irlen syndrome and could stop with the filters now making the world calm, static and understandable.
Thomas was in a permanent state of overload. His first words when putting on his filters were "Ah that's better. His mum Elly Scott wrote a book only a few months afterwards such was the amount of improvement by then