- to become aware of or identify by the means of senses
- to recognize, envision or understand
Perception plays a huge part in our lives. We make decisions each and every day based on how we perceive things through our senses.
Lets take a pea for instance, a solitary pea sitting in front of you on a plain plate with nothing else around.
Hearing– Is it making a noise as it rolls around the plate?
Seeing- We see a small object; usually green in colour as it sits there alone
Smelling- How does it smell, for you is it a sweet smell; or does it make you gag?
Tasting- Does it taste sweet or bitter?, do you like the taste?
Touching- How does it feel as you roll it in your hand? Is it hard or soft; smooth or rough?
Each of us would answer these questions differently, each of us would look at that pea differently wouldn’t we?
So what would happen if one day you woke up and one of your senses was not what you perceived as normal to you?
What if all you could hear was constant ringing, loud noises and inaudible voices?
What if what you saw was you in a large room with heaps of people in groups and you froze in fear?
What if you walked down to the beach and the smell of the animals and water set you off?
What if you couldn’t bear the taste of certain foods?
What if you couldn’t stand the touch of certain material on your skin or couldn’t bear the thought of even your closest loved ones hugging you?
Have you ever thought that for some people this is a very real reality, something they deal with every day?
In the world of aspergers, many aspies are either sensory avoiders or sensory seekers. Sensory avoiders and sensory seekers are very different as the terms suggest.
(please note in no way is this list exhaustive and some aspies can be both seekers and avoiders, though primarily falling in one area.)
Next time you see someone, try to step out of your perception of them-
Did you see the kid who wears her sunglasses everywhere ?
There must be something terribly wrong he’s forever pulling all his clothes off!
For goodness sake do you have to move all the time and touch everything in sight?
Maybe if you don’t spend your whole time perceiving this as weird or wrong and get to know the person for who they are you may even find you have something in common.
(For your record peas are one of my favourite foods)