While not all children with Asperger’s Disorder are overly reactive to stimulation, there are many who show extreme sensitivity. They can be excessively sensitive to sound, touch, and light.
Noises that others hardly notice can be very irritating to the Asperger’s Disorder child, and they lack the ability to screen it out or get used to it. Sudden loud noises are particularly upsetting, as are background noises that most others are not aware of. Bright lights and fluorescent lights can be bothersome.
Many Asperger’s Disorder children are particularly picky about the clothing they wear. Some are able to tell their parents that the seam at the toe of the sock is bothersome to them, and the parent can begin the hunt for seamless socks. Others, however, are not able to identify the cause of the irritation and express it in the form of an angry outburst or tantrum that appears to come from nowhere. Asperger’s Disorder children can also have sensitivities to the textures of various foods and refuse to eat whole categories of foods.
Some children will have one or two very specific sensitivities while others have so many that it is almost impossible for their parent to control the environment to try to prevent the offending stimulus.