One of the diagnoses that my son, Christopher William (Chris Will) has been given is Sensory Processing Disorder/Dysfunction. Some doctors believe this condition exists, while others discount it and brush it off as an “autistic” behavior.
Sensory processing disorder has affected many (if not all) of Christopher’s senses. It has caused him to either over- or under-react to things that he sees, smells or hears in his environment. It can start with him responding to a sound such as a flushing toilet (that may be too loud to him) by covering his ears, but could be so intense and/or overwhelming that the sensation brings him to tears.
Other ways he responds to overstimulation is by covering his face to block out the stimulus. This response has caused uneducated children and adults to snicker, point and/or jeer at him and others with autism. My response to this is to share my knowledge and education with others so that “typical” individuals can also learn to curtail their maladaptive responses and inappropriate behaviors in regard to their reactions to what they have little or no knowledge of.
Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. While there is no known cure for autism, there have been therapies such as ABA (applied behavior analysis) that have been shown to bring positive and meaningful changes in some behaviors considered inappropriate and maladaptive.