You are here:

Being Autisic is... (Part Three)

2/26/2014 08:33PM

Being autistic is being oversensitive to everything...


People think I'm odd when I react so much to sounds, smells, and people touching me. It can be just a playful pat, or a somewhat loud bang, and I react much stronger than other people. People tend to think I'm over-reacting, but honestly, I just SENSE things that much more. Most autistic people do.


I have sensitive hearing. I can hear the doorbell go off, upstairs, while music is going on, and our roommate is talking on Skype and being loud. I can be in bed, chatting with my husband, with the door closed, and hear a glass breaking downstairs. And these things happened after I got my hearing tested, and apparently I'm going slightly deaf. It's in my midrange hearing, though, so I can still hear high and low notes as I normally could, so the contrast is even more noticeable.


It's been proven multiple times with my husband asking that I can smell things like dairy and meat going off before he can, and I'm almost always accurate about it. I can smell when it's ABOUT to go off in a couple days, but it's fine for the moment.


All of this has a downside as well; I'm much more paranoid about foods because of this (and because when I was growing up, I was served rotten food a number of times), loud noises are just that much more loud to me, and texures bother me. A LOT.


Textures is probably the reason behind my oddest habits, and one of the ones that frustrate people that have to deal with autistic people having it. They don't know why the other person is not liking the food or clothing, besides them just being 'picky'. And as a child, you can often be forced to be not picky, or not eat. But it's almost as bad as eating rotten food, my mouth and throat have a VERY hard time eating it, if I can at all.


And it's not always consistent either. Coconut flakes are a good example. I love coconut. I love coconut flakes in macaroons, and in other hard cookies, and sometimes even in salads. But I can't have german chocolate cake because of the coconut flakes in the frosting, and I can't have Almond Joys, because of the coconut flakes in the coconut paste. For me, if one part of it is crunchy, and ONLY one part, when the rest is soft, to my mind, it sets of the “Something is wrong with this food” bells, and I can't eat it. It doesn't matter how tasty it is, I either have to pick at it, or I can't eat it. Same things with stuff like Phad Thai. I love Phad Thai, but if they put bean sprouts in it... It's not the taste, it's the texture.


I also have problems with clothing because of this too. I went into an urgent care once for an unrelated issue, and the doctor took one look at me and said “You have sensitive skin, don't you?” So I can imagine it's also exacerbated. I can't wear anything with lace, embroidery, or anything inset into the fabric. If it's a design on the top that also affects the inside of it, I can't wear it. I usually just end up wearing T-shirts and plain capri pants because those are the only ones that don't bother me. I can't even really wear jeans anymore because the seams bother me too much. And yes, I have to try EVERYTHING on, not because I want to, but to make sure it doesn't end up giving me a rash on my arms or legs.


Strong smells bother me a lot, as do certain ones. The smell of food mold, for example, will make me vomit pretty much instantly. It's better then ipecac for me. I can't stand most perfumes (there are a couple I like which I will post about later), and even hand lotion can often smell too strong. I also don't like the texture it usually gives my hands, I tend to spend over half an hour trying to rub the stuff away.


These things can be somewhat handy at times, but for the most part, people just think I'm over-reacting to all of it, and it gets frustrating. I often don't tell people that their music is actually hurting, or the reason why I don't care for the food they made, because I fear it makes me sound childish. I'd like to be one day understood, instead of being made fun of. Until then, though, I just have to smile and nod and wonder if I can invest in invisible ear plugs.