As humans, most of us have a tendency to daydream about what it would be like to be someone else or to have certain abilities. For example, so many of us moms often wish we had the ability to clone ourselves. Meanwhile, our sons are busy fantasizing about having super-hero abilities, like flying or disappearing. But what would it be like if you did have super-human abilities, like an extremely acute sense of smell or fine-tuned hearing? Furthermore, what would it be like if your abilities were considered disabilities? Think about how often we take advantage of simply existing in an everyday environment. Whenever we need to go to anywhere in particular, we typically just go. If we need to see something, we simply open our eyes and examine it. If we have to take a different path to get to a place we’ve been a dozen times before, we easily take the detour-no problem. And what about all of the smells in the air? There are tons of them around us, but the only scents we normally pick up on or are bothered by are the extreme ones. This is what we’re accustomed to; these are the types of things that make us, well…ordinary. Think about how you would cope if you weren’t ordinary.
Imagine having those super-human abilities; imagine being extraordinary. Focus on each and every detail that surrounds you and amplify everything that you can see, hear, and feel. Your brain panics because there is too much to take in visually and all of the clamorous sounds are maddening. All of your senses are jolted and your everyday environment suddenly becomes harsh and antagonistic. While most of us cannot begin to empathize with how this must feel, this is the type of sensory overload that is persistently experienced by many of those with autism. These types of sensory integration disorders occur because of a dysfunctional sensory system, which is controlled by the brain. Sensory integration is basically how our brains instinctually choose to interpret the environment. Therefore, any type of interruption or connection error among this delicate neurological process will cause either an over or under reaction to stimuli. Thus, the brain interprets the environment dramatically more or less than it truly is, essentially granting these individuals with super-human abilities. But their most extraordinary ability may their ability to cope when they can.