By Aidan Dunn, SkillCorps® Assistant at the Global Autism Project
Hello dear readers! Springtime has finally arrived in Brooklyn. A month or two late, but regardless, spring is here. Right now we are in the beautiful time between the point where I am complaining about the cold and the time where I am complaining about the heat. I am not someone who handles the heat well. I’m very fair-skinned so I burn like a vampire in sunlight. This means that if the weather is nice I’ll spend even more time indoors than I usually do (which is a lot). As a result I now have to start thinking about how I’m going to get my exercise on the days of the week when I’m not walking to and from work. While thinking about exercise and typing I thought about Occupational Therapy (OT) and Autism. Man, that’s a great topic to complain write about in my weekly blog! What a lot of people don’t know about Autism is that we often have difficulty in processing thoughts. Essentially there is a delay between when we feel something with our senses and when we react to it. Now it isn’t as if we process the world a second behind everyone else, it’s more like being slow to react sometimes. It also means that we sometimes suffer from sensory overload. When too many people are talking at once, or when a lot of things are happening at once we sometimes get overwhelmed. For me, this usually manifests in a desire to leave dinner conversations early, lest I become agitated. As a result, a lot of us undergo Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapy refers to a type of therapy used to help people through daily life by learning or relearning the skills needed to perform basic tasks. OT can be used for helping people who have been seriously injured regain functionality, but for us on the spectrum it usually takes the form of helping us get better at things like typing or grip strength. A good number of our SkillCorps members here at the Global Autism Project are Occupational Therapists working to take their skills globally to help people in need around the world. There’s a lot of different types of teachers and therapists that help people to live their lives. Every once in a while you should stop and reflect on the people who got you where you are today.
*The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Global Autism Project.*