Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sensory Overload Part Two

Three years after I was first diagnosed with PDD-NOS, I found myself improving quickly.  I played the clarinet in my high school marching band. I was ranked within the top sixty students of my class in terms of GPA. Admittibly, most of my classes were special education classes at that time.  I had a group of band friends to hang out with at school, although they did not know that I was taking special ed classes, let alone that I had autism.  They accepted me which was more than I had hoped for in the past, and I decided to keep those secrets to myself.

In a high school English class, we had someone come into the classroom, an administrator of some sort.  We were told not to pay any attention to her because she was here to watch the instructor and none of us.  She happened to sit right behind me while we were doing our activity for that day.  Keep in mind that this is a special ed class with only fourteen students in it.  I glanced back at the person, momentarily concerned that she had chose to sit behind me of all people, but I quickly lost interest.  A few weeks later, when my mom picked up the report from school, I realized that the person had in fact been observing me.

I was very interested in what the report contained.  This was part of a high school program to ensure that all special ed students were receiving the help they needed for the reasons they were taking those classes.  Most of the observations were intriguing, but the thing that interested me most was what she, the observer, had said about sensory overload.  She wrote in the report that I have my own ways to prevent sensory overload.  I was curious, not least of which because I was still predisposed to doubt my achievements, since not much time had passed since I was having difficulty. 

It was flattering to be praised for something in that manner, even though I did not fully understand what I had achieved.  Somehow, I had developed measures to ward off the overwhelming sensations that are aroused in a sensory overload, although it does not always work.  I don't even know if I can identify them, because all my defense mechanisms are situational.  I will try to give more specific details to how I deal with sensory overload in my next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment