Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Strategy to avoid Sensory Overload

In this post, I want to discuss a strategy that I used to combat sensory overload.  Recently, I was exposed to a tense conflict between people in a classroom setting.  I played no direct part in this conflict, other than as a bystander sitting in my chair. I could not remove myself from the situation without getting up and walking out of the classroom. I found that the situation overstimulated both my sight and my hearing.  I was facing a potential sensory overload.

I have noticed that a strategy that is used by autistic individuals to combat sensory overload is to either cover their ears and eliminate their hearing sensation, or to close their eyes and eliminate their sight sensation.  By closing my eyes, or covering my ears I could prevent the over-stimulation of one sense or the other.  I did not want to make myself uncomfortable by drawing attention to my sensory overload.  In order to handle this situation without making it obvious to others, I leaned forward, closed my eyes, and placed my thumbs on my temple.  The pressure on my head combined with the action of voluntarily shutting down my sight, I was able to avoid a sensory overload.

1 comment:

  1. I also wanted to add that I am very self-conscious of how others perceive me so I prefer a more subtle approach when handling sensory overload. I feel that covering my ears draws more attention to myself than closing my eyes. That is just my personal preference. Others might view that differently and prefer different approaches.