The TRUST project utilized storytelling as a strategy to build relationships among stakeholder group members. For example, as part of the introductions in the first stakeholder group meeting, participants were asked to introduce themselves by sharing how they came to be involved in the autism community. This focus on lived experience enabled stakeholder groups members to frame their contributions in a way that they felt was most important. In addition, throughout the TRUST project, we collaborated with various stakeholder group members to collect stories around sensory processing, understanding barriers and facilitators to research participation, and lessons learned from being a part of this project.
This is my TRUST story.
When I was young, I had to leave restaurants or public places because there would be babies/younger children crying or screaming and I couldn’t bear the sound. But when I got older, I managed to understand and process the sound better. I still don’t like the sound, but I manage.
The engagement of the TRUST project opened up many doors on sensory processing and autism I had never thought of before. It was good to hear and understand other people’s perspectives and how they overcame issues which helped me understand my own. It’s to good hear and know others are struggling and overcoming many of the same issues I have.
There were many people who had sensory processing issues but with different sounds. It could vary from loud machinery to just the gentlest of sounds like normal talking. It’s interesting to get people’s perspective on what they have gone through in their life experiences. It made me feel better, not alone and more confident when I’m out and about.