Megan (jehoshabeath) wrote,

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Sensory Overload and Sensory Therapy

My ASD evaluation last year notes: "Megan was reportedly a very active child who did not sleep very much and was over-stimulated. She was diagnosed with ADHD when she was four years old."

Highly sensitive, overstimulated, anxious. It seems that I'm very sensitive to the environment around me. This can be overwhelming at times, but it can also be very exciting and beautiful. I found some notes on sensory overload in a notebook at work today and wanted to share these along with some positive aspects of sensory sensitivity.

What sounds are comforting?
-Ceiling fans or oscillating fans
-Hammered dulcimers
-Slow, steady hymns
-Repetitive, rhythmic music

What sights are comforting?
-Light on water
-Vast, open land
-Open sky
-Solid colors
-Crystalline structure
-Books of lists/timelines/characters
-Pretty greeting cards

What textures are comforting?
-Low stone walls
-Petting animals or squeezing stuffed animals
-Band rings

What spaces are comforting?
-Flat surfaces
-Enclosed spaces, weighted blanket
-Rocking chairs, swings

What smells are comforting?
-Burt's Bees hand cream (the one in a glass container)

What tastes are comforting?
-Mild herbal tea

What are some of my favorite places?
-Gettysburg battlefield, bicycle standing by.
-My Grandparent's porch at dusk.
-Friendly's with a Reeces Pieces Sundae :P
-The little Amish cemetery along Rt 45.
-Newport Aquarium.
-Crew's quarters on the Fishing Schooner at Mystic Seaport.
-Nara, Japan.
-Morrow, Ohio.

What other ideas have people had?
What things trigger sensory overload for me?
-Bright light (sight)
-Disorderly clutter, books not lined up on bookshelves (sight)
-Many people moving at once (sight)
-Many people talking at once (sound)
-Loud music (sound)
-Strongly scented cleaners (smell)
-Certain candles (smell)
-Scratchy clothing, loose socks, non-cotton fabric (touch)
-Turtlenecks, scarves (touch)

How can I tell if I’m approaching sensory overload?
-Exhaustion, weakness, trembling
-Can't muster the strength to speak or make eye contact
-Rattled by ordinary sounds/smells/sights that typically don't bother me
-Tense, bracing myself
-Panicky, urge to run away, backs into corners
-Irritability, anger, defensiveness
-Hesitation, reluctance

What happens when my senses are overloaded?

How can I prevent sensory overload?
-Avoid triggers
-Limit social outings to one hour
-Rest before and after
-Stay hydrated and well nourished
-Have an escape plan

What's in my sensory emergency kit?
-A beanbag
-A little Red Blood Cell
-A yellow calcite stone

How can I recover from sensory overload?
-Rest in solitude with no scheduled plans the rest of the day
-If ill: lay down in a dark, quiet, cool room
-If stressed: rock, cry, listen to techno music, jump up and down, hug a plushie

How do I know when I’ve recovered from sensory overload?
-Feeling refreshed
-No longer feeling defensive or agitated
-Feeling hungry
-Feeling eager to do things again
Tags: aspergers, order, sensory, steady

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