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For many years at Cook Vision Therapy, we have worked with the special visual needs of those on the autism spectrum.
One way of looking at autism spectrum disorders is that there is a mismatch between the mind and the body, and that the mind doesn't care for what the body is saying. Another way is to view the disorder as an attempt to avoid the novel situations that evoke consciousness. Those on the spectrum prefer to repeat habitual actions to drown out seeing the world in new ways. Stemming is one example of this. Preferring old subjects and ignoring new ones is another.
Spectrum kids and adults often seem to be more comfortable in their own worlds than in ours. Whenever possible, they look at the "pictures within" rather than "world without." They try to avoid the scrambled information they receive through their senses. They may find themselves in a constant battle as the world around them invades their "private" space through their body, ears and eyes.
For instance, such individuals may be oversensitive to touch, requiring occupational therapists to reduce "tactile defensiveness." Some may be over-sensitive to sound, requiring systematic auditory training to reduce listening distortion or discomfort.
Vision Therapy works in the same way for those on the spectrum as it does for others. We concentrate on the 7 Visual Abilities to encourage comfortable communication with the world using vision. Vision therapy allows those with autism spectrum disorders to take in information through their eyes without painful, disturbing and distorted perception. The result: a person who is further freed from the world "within" and better able to communicate with the world "without" to benefit from other resources.