Sensory Integration in Autism

Making Autistic Sense
by Sue Golubock

photo of Sue Golubock

This webpage will focus on issues facing adolescents and adults on the Autism Spectrum (an underserved population who deserve more attention and assistance than they are getting). Friends, family and supporters are also welcome. In referring to Autism Spectrum I include all who have been diagnosed under the Pervasive Developmental Disorder umbrella, as well as those who are self- and peer-diagnosed, and those who are "cousins" (sharing similar ways of perceiving and thinking). I will use the term "AC" (meaning autistics and cousins) to refer to all of the above. I have included under the "Links to Other Sites" some of the AC sites that I am aware of that are fun, thought provoking, helpful, perseveratively fascinating, or where ACs can find other ACs with similar interests. If anyone is aware of sites that I have overlooked, please email me so that I can include it. I have also included sensory integration and assistive technology sites that I have found contain useful information or equipment. NEW: Check out the book reviews that I have added for those interested in finding helpful reading material in the areas of autism or sensory integration!

I am an adult-diagnosed aspie, whose instincts led me into a career as an occupational therapist with special interests in sensory integration and assistive technology. I've worked for over 30 years in school systems and currently work in a school/clinic for children/adolescents with moderate to severe sensory integration challenges (mostly ACs). My focus for this website is on sharing some of what I have learned over the past 58 years, not just in surviving in a world that challenges my nervous system on a moment-by-moment basis, but in striving to find ways to actually enjoy 'living' in this world, as the person I am and was meant to be. Click on "About Me" for more about my professional background and the workshops/presentations I have already done, or "Making Sense of Autism Workshops" to explore future workshops that are being planned. Check out "My Perspective" for my personal musings on growing up and life on the spectrum.

When I refer to Sensory Integration (SI) in reference to autism, it is not as a therapeutic approach, but as a theory that might help to explain why autistics DON'T experience the world as non-autistics do, and how autistics DO make sense of the information that is received through their sensory systems. Although I may share some techniques used in the field of Sensory Integration for those who may be interested, my focus will be on how the AC can best use this information to capitalize on the STRENGTHS that come with having an AC brain, and the LIMITATIONS inherent in living in a neurotypical (NT) world. By "neurotypical", I include all individuals who have what the medical profession considers typically developing or functioning nervous systems (note: I do not use the term "normal" as I don't believe there is such a thing outside of the artificial world of statistics, for NTs or ACs). Check out "Sensory Integration" for more on this topic.

I may also share some of what I've learned about Assistive Technology, not to assist autistics in doing things that aren't within their nature to do, but as an assist in doing what they can do and want to do, better. It is my belief that much of the stress that contributes to autistics being unable to function effectively in the neurotypical world comes from a lack of understanding of, acceptance of, and respect for, the autistic perspective and learning styles. See the "Assistive Technology" link for more on how I perceive that assistive technology can accomplish this goal.

This website will evolve as I evolve. I don't have answers, only food for thought. I welcome questions, input and feedback. Please email me at

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