Essay about How People with Autism Experience the World

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How People with Autism Experience the World Many of us have heard of the neurological disorder called autism, and have a general sense of what the term "autism" means and all of the typical behaviors that belong in its category. Yet, I must question how many of us out there who do take an interest in autism really understand how having this disorder can totally distort one's perception of what one experiences in the world. A person with autism senses things differently than we normally do, and also responds to them in other ways – what we would call "abnormal behaviors". Why is this so? According to scientists, MRI research studies have shown that the brains of autistic individuals have particular abnormalities in the cerebellum,…show more content…
Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University who has autism, has been able to provide us with an in-depth look into the sensory world of autism: "I pulled away when people tried to hug me, because being touched sent an overwhelming tidal wave of stimulation through my body...when noise and sensory over-stimulation became too intense, I was able to shut off my hearing and retreat into my own world" (7). Tito Mukhopadhyay, a 14 year old boy from India with severe autism, has also been able to give us a somewhat clearer picture of what he experiences: "I am calming myself. My senses are so disconnected, I lose my body. So I flap [my hands]. If I don't do this, I feel scattered and anxious...I hardly realized that I had a body...I needed constant movement, which made me get the feeling of my body" (2). These accounts have provided a special glimpse into the sensory disorders that accompany autism. It is fascinating to see how Dr. Grandin and Tito are living examples of how the autistic person perceives the world. At first glance, the two testimonies seem very much alike to me. Both of these autistic persons' nervous systems are constantly overwhelmed by the sensory input that their bodies receive. However, a much closer look reveals to me the key differences between the two. Dr. Grandin is a high-functioning autistic person whose nervous system receives too much sensory input. Her
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