Q&A question from @joannechristine43
Sensory issues are complex because they are so individual. You can tell a lot about someone's sensory needs from their likes and dislikes. If you'd like to talk a bit more specifically about your son, you are welcome to message me.
Generally speaking, it is important to remember that everything is a sensory activity. We talk in terms of sensory aids, inputs and therapy but in reality, every waking moment is a sensory experience and that can be really exhausting for autistic people. This is why it's important to minimise sensory input where possible. Things like keeping the house organised and tidy, trying not to have too many people involved in stressful situations and keeping noises low can go a long way. However, this is where things get complicated because some sensory input might be positive and sought, and it fluctuates.
For example, I love cuddling with my dog and that is sensory seeking but today I am more hypersensitive than usual and can't cope with stroking her. Sensory input may also be used as a blocking tactic. I can hear electric noises and they really bother me so I always have the television on to block out that noise.
You can use something called an ABC chart to keep track of sensory input and distress. This may show patterns. It is a very simple chart so doesn't take too much time up but can be helpful and is used in most schools and care settings. First is Action, this is the input, what is going on from a sensory perspective. Then Behaviour, how your son reacted, track really positive reactions as well as negative. Then is Consequence, this doesn't mean discipline but rather what happened next and whether it helped. Maybe you removed him from the room, turned off the radio, put away a toy or introduced a new activity. Using these can help you build up a profile. If this sounds too laborious, you could also just write down things you notice he really does and doesn't like. These two columns will tell you what can be beneficial to use and avoid in times of stress. (continued in comments)