What does sensory processing disorder feel like?


We  know that our senses give information to our brain, and in turn our brain processes the information, tells us what’s going on around us, allowing us to interact capably and efficiently with people and objects close by.

What happens to kids (and adults!) with sensory processing disorder, is that all that important information may not only be inaccurate but jumbled too!

Imagine a factory where each machine is not only doing it’s job wrong but out of turn. That’s the mishmash going on in the child’s head.

Chances are, a child with sensory issues will be the one in a group not following your instructions, acting hyper, over-anxious, extra loud, or just giving the sense that he’s “off.”

And no wonder.

To take a simple example, if your car factory had machines that were each contributing car parts too many or too little at a time, and on top of that, out of turn, you’d have TROUBLE.

On top of all this confusion, add piercing noises and lights bright enough to make you squint. And that nervous, jumpy feeling people get when hearing fingernails scratch on a chalkboard.

Basically, it all would make you want to run and hide to get away from the crazy, painful confusion.

Here is a youtube video I found of an adult with autism simulating what a sensory overload feels like so that outsiders can understand.

 Posted by at 11:11 am

  3 Responses to “What does sensory processing disorder feel like?”

  1. That is EXACTLY what it’s like for me, every time I go to work and then leave work to come home! I wear my iPod religiously, which makes my family laugh because they do not understand the importance of filtering out all that noise. And I “Wear Sunglasses At Night”…well, every time I go out the front door, whether it be sunny or cloudy:)

    • Hi, jeg700, welcome to Sensory and More!

      I know very well because I experience it too.
      Last summer we had a very loud air conditioner on most of the time and it drove me nuts. I couldn’t separate the noise from all the other noises in the room, like people talking to me, kids playing, etc. It was very frustrating, almost painful.

      I’m glad you found what works for you. Never mind people who laugh, well-meaning or not. 🙂 You know what you need to do.

      Sometimes I’ll see people wearing sunglasses in odd situations and I realize they must be sensitive to light/sun. I completely understand them.

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