Autistic Teenagers and All The Feels…

Autism and Breaking Up

Cell Phones and SPD

autistic teenager and Love
Autism and Breaking Up
Cell Phones and SPD

Cell Phones and SPD

Some people LOVE to talk on the phone.  I hate it.  Absolutely hate it.  I didn’t detest it as much when I was a teenager, but cell phones are the worst.  Please just text me.  Cell phones and SPD do NOT go well together.

This is one of those times when having Sensory Processing Disorder interferes with your daily living.  I know a lot of people prefer to hear a person’s tone and inflection when they’re talking, but it’s really exhausting for me.  Plus, with texts and emails, you have a record, the date you need, and important information right in front of you!

My SPD and Cell Phones

  • I can hear everything around you.  Are you calling me from the zoo? I hear the animals.  At the park?  I hear the wind, people driving by, other people talking.  Are you calling from inside the car? I can hear your radio, your car engine… you get the idea.
  • I can hear everything along with you.  Everything.  Since my brain does not tune out the unimportant stuff, it is hard for me to focus on what you’re saying.  And I want to hear you, only you, but it’s not working out that way.  And if there is a leaf blower around you, seriously just forget about me hearing one word you’re saying.  So sorry!
  • You’re breaking up.  It’s beyond annoying and ventures into painful as I try to hear you going in and out.  While it’s slightly easier for me if I’m using my blue tooth, but still I feel I’m saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you” more than anything else.
  • I’m doing my own things.  My kids in the car, one is on the phone and one is watching Mickey Mouse Club House.  We are all so busy, it’s hard for me to find time to be on the phone.

There Are A Lot of Us Non-Cell Phone Talkers (and Listeners)

Introverts apparently don’t like to talk on the phone for entirely different reasons.  Like introverts who hate talking on the phone, my teenager with autism needs his down time after being in a social setting.  A lot of down time.  Hours and hours.  So phone calls are not only a burden on his sensory system, but also invade a very important time for him that his body and mind need.

And Buzzfeed has awesome memes about people who would rather do anything else than talk on the phone.  I’m dying laughing right now, and also, I don’t feel so alone.  Looks like a LOT of people hate talking on cell phones.

What To Do About Cell Phones and SPD

While all signs point to this being an auditory processing disorder, there are things I can do about it to make talking on the cell phone easier.

AIT (Auditory Integration Therapy)

This is an option I’m seriously considering.  My son has done this therapy with amazing results.  You can read about this here.

You’ll find the best books on auditory processing here.  And my personal favorite When Listening Comes Alive.

Sensory Friendly Space

If you really want to talk on the phone, make it during a time where you’re home or in a super sensory friendly environment.  Maybe turn the lights down if that is calming.  Get comfortable – from your clothes to the room temperature.  Have a glass of water.  Go to the bathroom before dialing.  Really make your body feel good and you’ll be better equipped to handle the auditory stimulation.

Don’t Worry About It

Unless your job is to talk on the phone all day, then don’t worry about it.  With technology, we really can stay in touch with people by texting, email, and social media.  And the best interaction is face-to-face!  So get out and meet with your friends, family, co-workers, and community in person.

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