Temperature Sensitivity in Individuals with ASD

As you all probably already know, ASD is experienced differently by every person on the spectrum. One aspect of sensory processing includes sensitivity to temperature. This may vary from one individual to the other. While sensitivity to temperature isn’t that common among individuals on the spectrum here in Dubai, it is one aspect to be aware of if there are changes in environment involved, travel that can cause a disturbance and the like.

Generally, when compared to neurotypical children, those with autism are observed to be more sensitive to changes in temperature. These responses are subject to change over time but in the meanwhile, here are certain signs you can keep track of:

Specific temperature insistence
You might notice that some individuals with autism have a need for a particular type of clothing or express a strong dislike towards a certain activity. This may have to do with a variation in temperature. Eg., If your child shows a strong resistance to swimming in a pool, it could be related to the temperature and not just a fear of the water.

Temperature hypersensitivity
The slightest variation in temperature can disturb some children with autism. They may express this through signs of discomfort including irritability, crankiness, physical resistance or tantrums.

Temperature hyposensitivity
Hyposensitivity could result in the opposite condition wherein children do not notice changes in temperature as those around them do. It could lead to them being unprepared for the heat or cold, thereby wearing inappropriate clothing.

Caregivers can, in such instances, have certain aids on hand. Clothes for adding layers, such as a jacket, a cap, scarf, spare tee or a pair of socks that can be used to dress up or dress down are one option. Preparedness always makes a difference so using visual tools or similar resources to walk them through what is to come is another technique.

Addressing the needs of your child may sometimes require seeking professional help. At Autism Intervention Specialists, the best center for behavior therapy in Dubai, our expert therapists provide tailormade services depending on the needs of your child.

About Author
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Bahij Khouzami

M.Ed., BCBA, IBA | Founder

Bahij Khouzami is an expert in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) specializing in Autism. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and an International Behavior Analyst (IBA), Bahij is also a Professional Advisory Board Member of IBAO.
With a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, specializing in Autism from Cambridge College in Massachusetts, USA, Bahij has provided ABA services for schools, homes and clinics across Massachusetts, USA.
Highly skilled, Bahij has worked with multidisciplinary teams in clinical, home, nursery and school settings during his career in the United States and now in Dubai.
A passionate teacher, Bahij trains therapists, educators and parents. Through AIS, Bahij remains committed to making a positive impact in the lives of individuals with Autism.

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