as a kid how did you decribe sensory overload

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Ravenclawgurl
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06 Jan 2016, 3:53 pm

I'm writing a fanfiction about ariana dumbledore. In my head canon she is autistic perhaps with brain damage as well stemming for the incident decribed in the book.

Well I was told that certain parts of my fanfiction didn't seem like something kid would say.

For example I have a line in it that goes

"I don't like the way it makes me feel. It overloads me to a point spinning can't even calm me down."

I was advised a child may not use the word overload. At this point in the story she is around 9 or 10

How did you receive what you felt as a child. Or if your a parent how does your child describe it.

I honestly don't remember from when I was that age

If this isn't the right section for this post can I moderator move it for me?



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06 Jan 2016, 6:49 pm

My head is full :D



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06 Jan 2016, 7:07 pm

I always thought everybody felt just like me. I didn't know I was different. Nobody had ever thought of such a thing. We're all the same. I kept thinking that until somebody put me onto WrongPlanet, half a dozen years ago? I didn't know the shirts were not picky, the food was not salty, the music was not pounding, and so on. I thought everybody experienced the world exactly like I did, and they liked things that way.

My mother was determined that we were all in perfect health. That has a lot of whammy. The polite answers had been drummed into my head and I never would have said anything different. I would never have criticized other by admitting my own discomfort. That would have been selfish, rude, and imaginary.

So when, if, and how did your character get validated? Does she know she's different? Or is she still going around feeling guilty for leaving head-splitting noisy parties, and believing that she's anti-social?



Ishi2
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06 Jan 2016, 7:44 pm

I don't know why you have to dumb it down. Some kids have very advanced vocabulary.


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06 Jan 2016, 9:19 pm

Kids will use whatever language they're around. Would most 9-year-olds use the world "overloaded"? Probably not, but if their parents have used that around them and helped them to understand that sensory overload is what they're experiencing, then they'll use it. So, if you want your 9-year-old to use it to explain things, then you'll probably want to have your 9-year-old have someone in his or her life - parents, teacher, therapist, etc. - who is also using that word and is a good explain-er. To have the 9-year-old come up with it on their own to explain the situation would be odd.

It's like a 9-year-old won't describe a color as "teal" unless someone has called it that in their presence; they'll just call it "green-blue", cause they don't know "teal" is a word. But, if they know a painter who is always referring to colors by 1000 different names, then to have the 9-year-old reference "teal" would seem quite normal. Make sense?


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06 Jan 2016, 10:40 pm

Three words:

"CLOSE THE DOOR!"

(Because I couldn't sleep from the noise coming upstairs from the TV.)



Adam_K93
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06 Jan 2016, 11:15 pm

Ishi2 wrote:
I don't know why you have to dumb it down. Some kids have very advanced vocabulary.


Agreed, most people in school thought I was "slow", so I often got in trouble for writing things "too well" which made them think I "obviously had not done my homework myself". Angered me to no end that people held me to childish standards.

As for being overloaded (which happened quite often), it was too difficult to say anything. Again, people took it as being slow, which also angered me because I had so much to say but yet I felt as if my mouth was too small to release the flood of words and emotions I was feeling. I often just bit my tongue and said nothing because I knew it was never going to end well.


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ZombieBrideXD
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07 Jan 2016, 12:43 am

when i was young i had sensory overloads, i just didn't know that they were sensory overloads. When i went to a over stimulating place like The Mall or parties i would have shut downs, which made it hard for me to talk, my eyes would glaze over and i couldn't process any information. I was like a zombie. I thought everyone went through these and i had no idea why they happened, even my parents noticed it because i wouldn't talk or anything i would just zone out for HOURS and not respond to them but they never gave it a second thought. After my diagnoses I read about sensory overload and i felt so much relief FINALLY knowing what it was.

When i was young i think i described it as "falling asleep with my eyes open" or "everything feels like a dream".


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07 Jan 2016, 2:00 am

I just had meltdowns & I complained about whatever the sensory issue was during the meltdown.


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07 Jan 2016, 3:34 am

i couldn't because i was unable to form the words.


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07 Jan 2016, 8:29 am

I couldn't describe something that I had no idea what it was. But, I didn't have tantrums. My brother had those. I just shut down and withdrew.


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07 Jan 2016, 3:57 pm

Ravenclawgurl wrote:
as a kid how did you decribe sensory overload


I didn't describe it. I didn't even have a concept for it until I was in my early twenties.


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08 Jan 2016, 7:47 am

I still don't know how to describe a sensory overload but one example would be when I was 8. It was my first time flying and between the beeps of the metal detector, having security not really trained to deal with children at the time, walking out on the tarmac with mom to one of many planes, my brother filling my head full scary stories about being sent to Cuba or some foreign country and the lack of control I nearly lost my mind. I was sure we were being kidnapped and starting yelling and crying loudly.

I also had an incident in Grade 6 where I was being bullied by six kids: nothing too serious, just insults, put downs, etc. Between all that and facing a potential leukemia diagnosis I felt completely overloaded and just broke down and cried in the principals office with the bullies. That was when it really ramped up into physical assaults and kids telling me they wish I was dead.



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18 Jan 2016, 11:53 am

I didn't describe overload at all. I didn't have any concept for it.

I did say I didn't like things that in restrospect I had sensory issues with, but I didn't notice that I behaved or thought differently when I was overloaded. Generally I'd react to overload by getting really irritable, and then think that I was upset because of whatever minor thing set me off, without realizing that overload made me more sensitive.

Then again, I wasn't diagnosed, so a child who's been diagnosed might have a better understanding of it if someone has thought to teach them.



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18 Jan 2016, 2:54 pm

I think it might depend if the character knows that she is autistic or not. I didn't know I was autistic until last year, and like some other commenters, I had no idea that the world felt different for other people. I thought other people were rude, mean, and uncaring for subjecting me to all these painful things like noises, yucky foods, flashing lights, stinky perfume, and itchy clothes. I would just scream at my Mom and say, "No! I don't want it! It feels (itchy, disgusting, loud, etc.)" I would get angry or cry and go hide in my room or outside in the bushes if it all got to be TOO MUCH, but I didn't know why. My Mom called me Camille (like the opera character) and tell me to stop being so dramatic. Her biggest concern was not looking bad in front of the neighbors or co-workers.


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18 Jan 2016, 3:00 pm

No recognition or description at all is most realistic, I think.
Show it in behavior.


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