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.