New Video Shows What It Feels Like to Live With Sensory Sensitivity

Imagine if you couldn’t tune out background noise or the feel of your clothing.

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can have a major effect on the way people process sensory information. It causes some to be extremely sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and clothing. For people without ASD, a bright traffic light, leaky faucet, or scratchy sweater is easy to ignore. But for the overly sensitive, these sensations can cause severe distress. According to Dr. Paul Wang, head of medical research at the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, “It is hard to appreciate what it is like to be in the shoes of someone with ASD.”

In order to help those without ASD better understand what it feels like to suffer from overstimulation, England’s National Autistic Society made a video that simulates the experience. According to Wang, these simulations can be helpful. “To the extent that these simulations can illustrate how noxious sensory stimulation can be for individuals with ASD,” he says, “they may help the general population to better understand the difficulty of living with ASD.”

(H/T Refinery 29)