What reasonable accommodation do I need?

     by Inovar Autismo

All autistic people are different and all have their own individual characteristics. However, there are sensory sensitivities that may be common for those on the autism spectrum. Some of these sensory issues are related to hypersensitivity (low tolerance to stimuli) and hyposensitivity (high tolerance to stimuli). For example, there are people who are quite tolerant of touch and quite like to be hugged and squeezed, while others are less tolerant and touch can be really uncomfortable. If you feel that you have difficulties dealing with some sensory issues, you can find strategies to make you feel more comfortable, or talk to others about it and ask for some adaptations. Here are some examples:

  • If you are very sensitive to certain noises, it can be quite beneficial to use noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones will decrease the noise that exists in the surrounding environment, facilitating concentration and decreasing the anxiety associated with sound that is too loud.
  • If you are very sensitive to light, you can adapt its intensity in your bedroom or home, through specific technologies (which allow you to control the intensity of the lamps) or through thick and dark curtains on the windows. You can also ask your teachers and classmates/friends to make some adjustments in the classroom.

You can also make some communication suggestions, such as:

  • Ask them to show clear signs to indicate something, such as images, descriptions, or photographs.
  • Use of symbols, pictograms and/or photos to facilitate communication;
  • Speak in a paused, clear and objective way.

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