Episode 9:  Sensory Challenges - Vision 

In this episode of the Respect the Stim podcast, Captain Jerry Turning delves deeper into the sensory system and sensory processing challenges faced by individuals on the autism spectrum. Focusing specifically on vision, Jerry explores how vision sensitivities can directly impact behavior and pose challenges for first responders in gaining cooperation and compliance from individuals on the spectrum.

Jerry begins by prompting listeners to take a moment and observe their surroundings, emphasizing the ability to filter out irrelevant information. He highlights that individuals on the spectrum often struggle with applying filters, leading to difficulties in discerning important information from sensory inputs. He explains how people on the spectrum may fixate on minute details, such as counting flickers of fluorescent light bulbs or tracking dust particles, while finding it challenging to filter out extraneous stimuli.

The host emphasizes the importance of understanding the sensory bombardment individuals on the spectrum experience and their inability to efficiently filter out irrelevant information. This constant sensory input can be overwhelming and distracting for them, which may lead others to perceive them as distracted, intoxicated, rude, or belligerent. Captain Jerry emphasizes the potential dangers of misinterpreting their behavior.

Eye contact is discussed as a significant challenge for individuals on the autism spectrum. Contrary to traditional interrogation techniques that consider a lack of eye contact as a sign of deception, Jerry explains that individuals on the spectrum may avert their gaze or look away as a way to focus on the spoken words. He emphasizes that this behavior should not be perceived as disrespectful or evasive but rather as a sign of respect and an attempt to filter out overwhelming visual sensory information.

The podcast episode further explores how individuals on the spectrum often have difficulty paying attention to a broad field of vision, instead being more comfortable focusing on specific details. Issues with depth perception and distorted vision are also common, often leading to challenges in coordination and motor skills. Jerry draws attention to the fact that these vision sensitivities can mimic signs of intoxication or impairment, potentially leading to incorrect assessments by law enforcement officers.

Jerry's intention is not to discredit existing training or tactics but rather to provide additional insights and clues for first responders to consider when interacting with individuals on the spectrum. By expanding their awareness and considering a broader range of indicators, officers can more accurately assess situations and avoid misconceptions based solely on traditional signs of deception or impairment.

In summary, this podcast episode sheds light on the specific challenges individuals on the autism spectrum face in relation to vision sensitivities. It emphasizes the importance of understanding and recognizing these sensitivities to improve interactions and avoid misunderstandings between individuals on the spectrum and first responders.


Jerry Turning's Contact Information:

LinkTree: ⁠⁠⁠https://linktr.ee/GeraldTurningJr⁠⁠⁠

Website: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.bluebridgetraining.com/⁠⁠⁠⁠

Facebook: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.facebook.com/bluebridgetraining⁠⁠⁠⁠

LinkedIn: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/geraldturningjr/⁠⁠⁠⁠

TikTok: ⁠⁠⁠⁠www.tiktok.com/@bluebridgetraining⁠⁠⁠⁠

Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.instagram.com/bluebridgetraining/⁠⁠


Subscribe Now!