Tag Archives: sensory overload

The Meltdown

Sometimes it creeps on slowly

I see it coming hours in advance

Other days it hits me like a freight train

I feel like I am always holding off The Beast

Swimming through mental sludge

My head is pounding and my eyes burn

Out in the world I am unprotected

I need to find a private space

Being alone is the only cure

Finally I am home

Worn down and empty

I find myself in bed early

Rolled tightly in blankets

Soothed by darkness

Maybe if I sleep the monster will leave

Sometimes rest is all I need

There are days where nothing can save me

When all my senses begin to run together

Sounds and sights become dizzying sensations

I cannot move but I must

The room is spinning so fast

I make it to the bathroom just in time

as motion sickness overtakes me

I am paralyzed by an indescribable pain

My body and mind stop working together

Getting back to my bed is challenging

So I stay on the floor in my bathroom

Curled into a tight ball

Hiding under a pile of towels

Thinking is impossible

Nothing works

The monster is in control

Total meltdown

Pain and confusion

The Monster has me

Nothing left to do but wait it out

A poem about an Autistic Meltdown.

 

10 Things I Keep in My ‘Toolkit’ as an Autistic Person – The Mighty

I am super excited to share that ine of Anonymously Autistic’s most popular blog posts,  10 Things I Keep in My ‘Toolkit’ as an Autistic Person, has been turned into a video on The Mighty!

I really am beyond excited about seeing my words hit a new medium.

Check out 10 Things I Keep in My ‘Toolkit’ as an Autistic Person on The Mighty.

1. Noise-canceling headphones: for when I need to take a break from my surroundings. Sometimes I need to check out to avoid sensory overload or block out distractions so I can work and focus on other things.

2. Sunglasses: for light sensitivities. I try to stay in the shade when outdoors, but I need sunglasses even on rainy days (and sometimes indoors). I have special colored lenses to help with the florescent lights in stores and office.

3. Hats: Hats with brims are great to block out glaring lights. I also like hats that come down around my face on days I do not feel like looking at people or being looked at. On sensory days or when I am tired, I honestly don’t have the energy to socialize with strangers, so I don’t.

4. Something to fiddle with: if I need a break or distraction, I use a book, iPod, smart phone, or fidget toy such as a rubix cube. I always like have an audio book or music available (and headphones) when I need a break.

5. Hand wipes: If you have tactile sensitivities like I do, sticky hands will annoy you. It is nice to have something to clean up with. I recommend avoiding scented wipes or finding a smell you like.

6. A snack: I get fuzzy and agitated when I am hungry. I can’t think, and my sensory issues get worse. If you have a sensitive stomach or are sensitive to tastes and textures, it is good to have something with you that you can eat if you are venturing out for the day.

7. Something that smells good: My sense of smell is sensitive. Public bathrooms, household cleaners, chemicals, and air fresheners all make me queasy. I like to have good scented lotion or perfume (that smells like food or candy) in my bag to apply when I need to smell something pleasant and block out something obnoxious.

8. Gum/mints/candy: My stims are less obvious, possibly because I’ve turned to an oral fixation. I like to keep organic mints, candy, or gum in my bag. Personally, I cannot handle aspartame or artificial sweeteners as they aggravate my stomach. I tend to be more sensitive to any non-organic chemicals than most people.

9. Taking breaks: I’ve found it is better for me to step away for a quiet moment alone than to have a public meltdown or shutdown. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself and step away to take a break if you need one.

10. Knowing my limits: I get a certain feeling that seems to increase as I get closer to a shutdown or meltdown. It normally starts with the lights getting brighter and sounds getting distorted. Next is a headache and general mind fuzziness. Pay attention to how you are feeling. Learn to recognize the signs that you are getting overwhelmed.

Remember everyone is different. Autism really is a spectrum. These are just some of the tools I use.

Melissa McGlensey – The Mighty – 22 Truths People Affected by Sensory Processing Disorder Wish Others Understood

Melissa McGlensey wrights about Sensory Processing Disorder on The Mighty.

On a bad day, my sensory issues can be the worst part of my life. What makes it even harder is the fact that nobody, unless they have SPD, can possibly understand the pain and discomfort that I am going through when a full blown attack is happening.

People think I am being dramatic, whining, or complaining… so I keep things to myself. The truth is, some days I feel worse than others. Some days my symptoms go completely unnoticed but when they are bad they can not be ignored.

I can take ZERO credit for the following quotes. Please see the full article here on The Mighty.

“I do not complain about bright lights, smells, tastes, rough touch, etc., just to annoy others. I am overwhelmed by sensations and am learning how to process differently. Until then, please be patient with me.” — Sandra Cusack

“When I need to go reset, it’s not because I’m being dramatic. To be in a room of people is constant stress on my mind and body to make sense of an environment that makes simple sense to you. Sounds, smells, lights, brushes against people, all of it had to be decoded and reiterated into a language my brain can understand, and there can’t be more input when I’m trying to do that. I need a space free from all stimuli to give my brain the break it needs to process things… Just give me a minute to myself. And please don’t interrupt it.” — Hailey Remigio

“Just because I look fine on the outside doesn’t mean I’m not struggling inside… Even the professionals I take my kids to assume so much. They do things like talk to me in a crowded waiting room. They assume just because I’m an adult I’ve figured out how to handle my sensory issues. I didn’t know what SPD was for most of my life.” — Holly Newt

Amythest Schaber – Ask an Autistic – What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Welcome my world. The worst, and maybe the only part of being an Aspie that is truly disabling (mostly because people expect me to be normal).

In this video Amythest Schaber, YouTube host and owner of the Neuroonerful blog, talks about Sensory Processing Disorder. What is it? Check out Amthest’s video (which I can take NO credit for) below.

See video HERE.