Helen shows signs of hypersensitivity to visual stimuli:
- Fascination with colour and form
- Strong sense of aesthetics, visual patterns
- Eye strain under fluorescent lights
Helen does have major problems with spatial awareness and it appears that she has very little or no 3D vision. She has no sense of distance. She got a driving license (after 6 attempts) but does not drive because she had too many accidents. It is likely that this is because Helen does not process visual information in the same way as other people. She appears to have difficulty resolving patterns and lines into actual objects quickly. While this makes her very good at design, it is not conducive to being a safe driver. Given her difficulties with spatial awareness, it is surprising that she actually passed her driving test.
It appears that Helen sees patterns more than objects. While she can identify the handle to open a window, she is unable to work out how to use that information to work out how to open the window. She gets lost easily because she does not recognise familiar places if seen from a different direction or in the dark. But she does have a very strong sense of patterns, of light and dark, and of colour. She also has a very strong sense of the whole, of aesthetics.
Helen is able to manipulate space in front of her, but that is likely to be because of kinaesthetic combined with 2D vision rather than 3D perception. She enjoys making hats (3D) activity, but each has to be a one off. She could not make 10 identical hats, for example.
Helen shows signs of hypersensitivity to sound,
- Doesn’t like loud noises
- Easily distracted by noise, open plan studio is a nightmare
- Has very acute hearing under certain circumstances (such as hearing conversation at the other side of a large room).
However, noise is ok if it is constant and fairly uniform – such as in a noisy café. She therefore has no difficulty with separating background from foreground noise and is able to ignore background noise.
Helen has problems discriminating sounds which caused an issue with parts of speech and language therapy. She finds it difficult to correct diction because of difficulties with sound discrimination and because her visual system makes it extremely difficult for her to see what mouth movements her client is doing.
Helen’s issues with sound discrimination cause problems with learning. She finds she needs the kinaesthetic feedback from exaggerated articulation as well as the sound in order to take in information.
Helen seeks out certain fabrics because of feel – generally natural fibres. This may be a sign of hyper-sensitivity to light touch.
Helen is cuddly with close family members but strangers are a problem. It is likely that touch from strangers is a problem because that kind of touch tends to come with emotion. Light touch that she is not expecting, startles her.
Helen is hypersensitive to the smell of meat, cooked and raw. This means she cannot stand to eat meat, but she does not prevent her children from eating meat.
Otherwise smell is not a major problem. She does like perfume, which suggests the hypersensitivity to smell is not generalised.
Body Awareness and balance
Helen has been diagnosed with dyspraxia and is not good with gross or fine motor movements. Normally stimulating hypo-sensitivities has a calming effect. Helen has already discovered this and stimulates this sense using dance, fidget products, exaggerated articulation, and typing.
Helen struggles with heights and can fall on uneven ground. Although she can perform dance moves, it was very difficult for her to learn to do this. This indicates that Helen does have problems with balance.