As I’ve started researching more about autism, I’ve learned a lot more about how other people with autism experience sensitivity. One that is particularly personal to me is that of sound sensitivity.
I was reading that some people have hypo-sensitivity to sounds while others have hypersensitivity. This means that some people are less sensitive while others are more sensitive. Even though both people have autism these differences can make them seem like completely different disorders.
This particular difference has made my life complicated over the years. Although my dad has never been diagnosed with autism, he exhibits several of the traits. My dad happens to be hypo-sensitive to sounds while I happen to be hypersensitive to sounds. This means that my dad enjoys scraping his plate after dinner, tapping loudly, and generally making lots of noise. My dad also happens to be the loudest person I know and his normal voice is probably as loud as me yelling.
I on the other hand cannot stand the sound of things scraping; I avoid loud noises; and I have had to train myself to talk loud enough so other people could hear. I listen to music at the lowest volume that I can still hear; I turn doorknobs so I don’t hear the click when they close; and I lift chairs and tables as much as possible to avoid the sliding sound of moving them.
As you can imagine our differences caused quite a bit of conflict growing up. Usually it was my dad that took most of the blame because after all it was his noise that started the problem. It was not until recently that I realized that this was my dad’s way of self-stimulating and was not him intentionally trying to upset me. Hopefully this understanding will help me get along better with my dad in the future.