Heat Intolerance and Autism Spectrum Disorder

11.06.2022

As Summer quickly approaches, most of us are excited to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. But for those people on the autistic spectrum, heat waves and warmer weather can bring a host of challenges.

So, as you are looking for your beach towels and sunglasses this spring, why not add a few more items to your checklist to help ease the discomfort extreme heat can bring?

Why Can Warm Weather Pose A Challenge?

We all know that extreme weather can become irritating and uncomfortable if we are not prepared for it. For those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this problem can be exacerbated. This is because many people with ASD may experience hypersensitivity and heat intolerance.

Hypersensitivity can make the feeling of sweat, warmth, and uncomfortable clothes even more unbearable. While not everybody with autism struggles with this, hypersensitivity is a relatively common symptom of the condition. So, how do you combat this?

1. Baggy Clothes

Some people may experience hypersensitivity, making high temperatures, sticky clothes or even the feeling of sweat more uncomfortable. This increased sensory input can further increase anxieties and agitation. When working to overcome hypersensivity, it can often be helpful to ensure baggy clothes are a common addition to your child’s wardrobe. Not only will it help to ensure that their heat is more closely regulated, but it will also reduce the amount of fabric touching the skin.

2. Water Activities

Anyone caring for somebody with ASD knows how useful tactile and sensory play can be to the development of the child they are working with. Very warm weather offers the opportunity to get stuck into water activities that both cool the child down and help them to conduct the sensory play that is so vital to their development and regulation.

3. Freeze Your Food

If your child enjoys frozen snacks, this offers yet another opportunity to intertwine activities into their day that serves to cool them down. Frozen fruit or an ice lolly seems like a simple solution. But sometimes, the simplest solution is the best!

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Stay Inside

When nice weather hits, it is impossible not to feel like we should be making the most of it. However, on days that bring high heat with very little chance of a let-up, staying inside for the warmest part of the day might just be the safest option.

5. Meal-Prep

If you are trying to limit the extent to which you are heating up your environment, limiting your time using the hob or oven to as little as possible can help to keep your home cool. And besides, on a sunny day, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving over a hot stove!

To find out more about how to protect your child in the summer months, particularly if they suffer with heat intolerance, get in touch with our friendly team!