A few days ago I participated in #autchat, a Twitter chat for autistic people. (I’m kind of new to Twitter, but you can follow me at @aspified.) The topic of the #autchat was sensory issues. As an autistic adult, I have experienced various sensory problems that I know others with autism face such as feeling overwhelmed by bright lights and loud noises, strong smells, itchy clothing, etc. But it was nice to be in a chat with other autistic adults who share the unique sensory issues I deal with. I later participated in a similar chat within a Facebook group about autistic sensory differences.
I thought I would share some of the sensory issues I could relate to on the blog, because I thought it might help some people and also because I know that not everyone uses Twitter or Facebook.
1) Not being able to drive because of sensory overload.
2) Not wanting children because of not being able to handle crying and/or not functioning well when interrupted from sleeping.
3) Not being able to focus on what people are saying when in a group of people due to background noise, lights or smells.
4) Feeling overloaded in the presence of too many people, even if the people are being quiet.
5) Being able to smell and hear things that no one else seems to smell or hear.
6) Not being able to concentrate if there is a fan blowing or wind coming through the window.
7) Certain sounds can make our skin hurt.
8) Uncomfortable clothing causing a headache.
9) Having a reaction to a common over-the-counter medication that doesn’t usually give side effects.
10) Feeling irritated and overloaded by noises we can’t control, such as constant construction outside our homes.
11) Enjoying hanging upside down from a couch or bed and/or putting our heads on the ground.
12) Having people think we’re exaggerating or ignoring them because we are distracted by background noise or things no one else can hear.
What other sensory differences or sensory-seeking things do you experience as an autistic adult?