Today I have been sat in the sunshine on a cliff top overlooking the sea with my dog, busily researching sensory perception in relation to autism. A key concept in autism is there can be challenges in organising and processing sensory experiences. Each one of us experiences our sensory world in a different way, so the challenge is to make nature therapy unique to an individual by tuning in to their own way of sensing the world.
We can do this by mapping sensitivities and strengths in sensory perceptions. However, that is not always as straight forward as it may first seem. In autism, the world can be experienced through blended, distorted, mono, fragmented or delayed sensory perception. These ways of experiencing the world can lead to behaviours others may view as challenging, or anti-social instead of seeing them as reactions to sensory experiences.
As a person fascinated by the gift of our senses, what I find the most intriguing is something called synaesthesia. This is where sensory perceptions blend so that words are seen as colour, or touch is perceived as sounds. Many people who have this way of being are artists, musicians, writers or poets.
It seems human differences in sensory perception can inspire some to create celebrated masterpieces. However, for others it can result in a lack of acceptance of the manner in which they express their sensory selves.