Autistics’ Speaking Day: Hypersensitivity

I haven’t blogged in almost two months. Whoops! Sorry about that. I was on vacation in Portugal in the last half of September and life has been generally hectic. Today is Autistics’ Speaking Day, and I thought it would be as good a time as any to get back into blogging.
Many autistic people suffer from hypersensitivity. Only recently did I realise that I do too, particularly when it comes to taste, but also with tactility.
When I was a child, there were a number of foods that I couldn’t eat because to me they were too strongly flavoured. I’ve previously mentioned that I’m sensitive to salt. But other flavours, including sweetness, could also be overpowering.
I can still remember the first time I tasted meringue, which is amazing as it was over 25 years ago. I was just seven and my mother was preparing for a dinner party. I came into the kitchen just as she was taking meringues out of the oven, so she offered me one. I had one bite, and gagged. It was (and remains) the sweetest thing I have ever tasted. I couldn’t eat any more of it. I also don’t enjoy turkish delight. Again, the rose water flavouring is too sweet for me.
Some people love tinned white asparagus. That’s another thing I find too overpowering. I can eat bits of olives as part of a pizza or mixed in with other stuff because it weakens the flavour, but not whole and on their own.
I have my hair cut with electric clippers. When I was a child, the vibrations would go down my spine. The sensation was very unpleasant to me. I dislike it even when people run their fingers up and down my spine, even though I enjoy having my hair touched. The problem resolved in a strange way. As I grew up and became larger, my body absorbed the vibrations so it was no longer unpleasant.
In general, I don’t like being touched. My mother told me an interesting story. She sensed I was different when I was just a month old. She said that whenever she came to pick me up I would stiffen and lean away. Looking back, that makes sense. I probably found the sensation very unpleasant.
I’m fortunate in one sense (see what I did there?). Hypersensitivity tends to lessen with age. This has happened to me. But I still have very acute senses.


About autismjungle

I am a Software Test Analyst. Shortly before I turned 21 I was officially diagnosed, although I had long suspected I was autistic. Welcome to my blog
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