Aspies And Sensory Overload

By Jessika Endsley


Hi, this is Dizzy, and I'm going to talk about sensory overload. Because I've been having that a lot lately, and I know a lot of you do. It's a great thing for people with Aspergers and anyone with the autistic spectrum. I had to go dress shopping this week because there's a Mardi Gras ball tonight and that meant trying on dresses and if you're a female and maybe if you're a male, you know that that requires trying on itchy things that are fluffy and horrendous and that squish you and ehh... So, I did that, I tried on like 10 different dresses before I bought a relatively simple green dress that is very pretty, and I like it. So, as you probably all know fabrics are a big deal for Aspies, yeah. I don't like anything that I cannot jump a fence in, I do wear skirts but I can move in them, I also like tights, because I can move in them. Anyhow, enough about what I wear. Sensory issues. Light, fluorescent light is the main issue with us, so when I'm in Walmart and there's all those lights, and are all those people and talking and running around, I want to have a meltdown a lot of times. So, I know a lot of you probably have that same issue, of course you can't just run off screaming to your bed. People a lot of times you use UV lights in the winter, to combat depression due to the season, and they're not getting a lot of sunlight, even people with autism do that, but having lights in your face, sometimes at night when I'm doing research, I'll have my bedroom light on, be on the computer and I'll have cartoons in the background and I'll realize there is way too much going on and I'll have to shut off a bit of it, I'll shut one thing off and then 10 minutes later turn another thing off and slowly shut everything off before I go to sleep, if I go to sleep, do I look like I ever sleep? And that way I don't just feel awful. Sounds, that one's really big for me, more than lights. I cannot deal with a bunch of people talking at once, I cannot deal with a sudden loud noise, yesterday I was making tea and someone had Oprah on the TV and they're watching it and someone was screaming repeatedly like "EEE" really, really loud. Someone, they had the TV up really loud and I just wanted to like destroy something. It was horrendous, atrocious and awful, and every word like that I can think of.

And, I had to be in there for about a minute and a half to finish the tea and then I came back to my room and I had to curl up in the dark and in the quiet, and I kinda just rested for about 20 minutes. Usually I don't have to rest for that long, and I don't even always have the option to. But, yesterday wasn't my day, okay. So sounds yeah, repetitive sounds like repetitive tapping can drive me up the wall, and I know it can drive a lot of other people from the spectrum up the wall, because I've talked to them and you know worse, read about it. It's very annoying. And of course there's the fabrics. Multitasking, there's the people all talking at once, that's a form of multitasking, people giving you directions can drive you crazy, especially if they're giving you directions in a form of communication that you aren't really well adjusted to. I'm not well adjusted to auditory learning, that is not my learning style, I like step by step written instructions, specifically written. I don't like people talking and telling me how to do something, that doesn't bode well with me, I do not comprehend, I will look at you say, I don't know what you're talking about, especially like if they're telling me how to get somewhere, I'l be like yeah just go on google maps and write it down on a note-card, and underline left and right in different colors that helps me know how to turn and where.

Other people are the opposite, they want to hear it, they do not want it written down and that's their deal. Also having too many things to do at once and being disorganized can cause you to have sensory overload, and sensory overload does eventually tend to lead to a meltdown, everyone's meltdowns are different, Everyone can have different types of meltdowns, sometimes they're shutdowns rather than meltdowns, which is actually more common for me and meltdowns are often not pretty. So let's talk about how to prevent that, and how to deal with some sensory overload.

Sensory-overloadRest, that's one thing I need to work on, I just really don't like sleeping, Go in a lie down, which of course people who work and whatnot haven't that option, but going and laying in bed in the dark can definitely help. Water, this one is my favorite, I didn't even realize until I was reading about ways to help with sensory overload that this was an option that people use as getting in the bathtub, and swimming and other things. I tend to go to the river when I don't feel well, and just chill in the water, swim around, look for mussels and shells or play with a little fish in the water. And that's an option, you might not want to play in muddy water like I do, but if you have access to a pool or just go sit your bathtub in the water, that helps. It's pressure, it's a different temperature, get the temperature that you want, and it helps apparently, helps lots of people, and I thought it was just me. Pressure from different fabrics, putting on tights, leggings, using a thick blanket, there's a "shock blanket" that they put on people at like crime scenes, or accident scenes, actually, that I just really thought about that, so even people that aren't on the spectrum like to have thick blankets that are heavy on them, you can get several blankets put on, in your bed, go lay in your bed put it on top of you and that can help, I'm not sure why, but that can help with sensory overload. Massage, I would never go get one from a stranger, that would cause me to have a freak-out, but you can massage yourself and it relieves tension obviously, or you can get it from somebody else who you know, or if you're okay with a stranger doing it then you know, go ahead.

Different smells like I use candles more, I collect them. Changing the atmosphere of a room is very easy to do, but since, so using candles or oils, since people in the spectrum tend to be hypersensitive to most things, then smells are a way to change the whole atmosphere of a room which will often relieve the sensory overload. So, go get candles that smell like perfumes or trees, or laundry or whatever, they have a lot of different ones, some of them are crazy, some of them are awful, and some of them are awesome. So just go get whatever you want. And then there's music. I personally like to listen to country music when I'm having sensory overload, most people hate country music, a lot of people will tell you to listen to really slow music, or beta waves, or delta waves, or whatever. That stuff doesn't help me, but it helps a lot of people, so try whatever you want. And yes I'm doing something weird with my mouth, some medicine for blood pressure makes it dry. So just use music, it doesn't have to be slow... techno even helps me sometimes. But if you're listening to music when you have overload, you might want to change it, you might want to change that music, and maybe just shut the music off. When all else fails and you're in public, go to the bathroom and just chill in a stall, just chill, and shut your eyes and cover your ears, just do whatever you have to, put cold water on your face and maybe like hug yourself cause then you'll have the temperature change, and the quiet, and it'll just relieve some of the tension and maybe prevent a meltdown. I don't know a lot of ways to relieve sensory overload, so if you do and you know ways that I didn't mention, then put it in the comments, cause you'll be helping me possibly, and lots of other people whoever watches this video. So thank you, wish me luck at this ball, and have a good day.

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