It seems to me that most kids with autism are hypersensitive. I know
issues like noisy environments, hairbrushing, clothing... is often difficult
for these kids.
My ds on the other end is hyposensitive. He loves a party, never minded
getting shots or stitches, does not care if his shoes are to tight or his
shirt is scratchy. While that has advantages it also frequently makes him
'too much' for people-too loud, too tactile, too reckless. It took me fairly
long to regognize that my ds had autism because every autistic kid I knew
was hpersensitive and he was so different from that. I have read that
some kids that start out hyposensitive later on switch to hypersensitive
and indeed my sons high pain tolerance has come down a lot.
How are your kids and has it changed?
My son has always been hypersensitive to some things, like sounds, but more like a combination on other things, like touch. On the one hand, he seeks tactile input -- for example touching/holding other people's ears and chins. But on the other hand, he hated for me to put lotion on him when he was a preschooler. Now he loves lotion, so things can change. His sensory-seeking stims certainly vary, and as he gets older, he seems to be able to tolerate sensory input better and better (without OT, which isn't really available to us here).
Btw, have you checked out the sensory processing disorder checklist? It gives symptoms of both hyper- and hyposensitivity for the various senses.
My son has a very high pain tolerance, which would make him hyposensitive to pain. For example, at age 2+ he ran in bare feet across pinecones, he doesn't notice splinters, it takes ALOT for him to even act funny when he has a severe ear infection, his throat never hurts (even with red pus covered strep throat), etc. He also is hyposensitive to proprioceptive and vestibular stimuli. He needs firm pressure and squeezing. He needs to spin and swing and run around. His speech has always been better with plenty of this kind of sensory input.
He is hypersensitive to specific sounds...this is slowly improving. He does not like the dishwasher, the vacuum (improving), planes overhead (improving), loud angry voices or multiple loud voices in a crowd.
Adam is actually BOTH....which is a pain in the butt and caused us to not know what to anticipate from day to day. Used to have a really high pain tolerance but it is more close to normal now and he sometimes will overexaggarate for attention if he is in time out or in trouble. lol Did not used to like getting sticky hands and I don't think it bothers him much anymore...that or he's old enough to just go and wash them. He's still a picky eater and we have found that he actually DOES have a gag reflex now that he has been eating foods other than the ones he insisted on forever. He seeks vestubular input so he jumps, rams etc quite a bit. He tolerates nail clippings now but I used to have to do it while he was sleeping. Haircuts he will tolerate also but he squirms a lot still.
When Ryan was younger Ryan was extremely hyposensitive. When he was around 4yr that changed and he is no longer hyposensitive.
He has never been hypersensitive..well maybe one thing...brushing teeth he hates to have his bottom front teeth brushed, for some reason just those teeth you can see that it really bothers him.My ds's psychologist also said that hyposensetive kids usually turn out to
develope adhd . That has been true for my ds.